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Old 01-30-2019, 02:28 AM
crazyfly crazyfly is offline
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Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Hi! Yesterday at Hobby lobby i picked up some sale paints. I got a 6 pack starter of Cotman watercolors .25oz and a 6 pack of Liquitex heavy body paint 2oz. (WC's $6.50 and acrylic $12.50, good right?)
Each set had ryb, black, white, and green. Why green? What do y'all do with the green? And if green, then why not purple or orange? Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:39 AM
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Ted Bunker Ted Bunker is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Seems perfectly reasonable, there are lots of greens in Nature, but few purples. Orange is a yellow-red with little saturation/chroma cost, and often used as a low-chroma earth-color brown, tan or ochre.

...But, depending on the colorwheel model yellow and ultramarine blue can be 180-degrees apart so mixing a high-chroma green can be near-impossible due to saturation/chroma costs of two pigments that-far apart in Hue. Whereas a high-chroma "convenience green" spaced between yellow and blue provides flexibility and greatly-reduced saturation/chroma costs. Greenish yellows, yellowish greens, bluish greens and greenish blues in high and low chromas are then available. And mixing a neutral from green and red is easier.

Personally, I have rather have a burnt umber or burnt seinna rather than the white in watercolor 6-color set. White in watercolor set is redundant, in a gouache or casein set it's more useful. In acrylic, I want the white but forgoe the black for the BU or BS instead.

YMMV with use.
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Last edited by Ted Bunker : 01-30-2019 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:25 AM
redneck647 redneck647 is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

I remember as a kid the little packs of 4 crayons came in red, blue, yellow and green. Don't know why but it just seemed normal for green to be the 4th color.

As a landscape painter and mostly doing summer pictures with lots of foliage I find greens to be much more useful then oranges and purples but that's just me.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:33 AM
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gement gement is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

You might find this Handprint article about the historical choice of this palette interesting: https://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/palette4d.html

The idea of exactly three primary colors is somewhat arbitrary. (Yes, there is some interesting stuff about eye receptors and mixing curves, but it's not as clear-cut as people think, and the three-color theory was laid down when the available pigments were a lot more limited.)

Those four colors are nicely spaced around the spectrum, and even people who subscribe to the three primaries are more likely to keep a convenience green in their fifth slot (after three primaries and an earth tone).

Edits: By convenience green I don't mean a multi-pigment blend, I mean they call anything but a primary a convenience color. Personally, since I paint abstracts and not landscapes, my fifth color on any limited palette is violet. But it's an unusual choice.
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Last edited by gement : 01-30-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:08 AM
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Pinguino Pinguino is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Let us ignore color theory. Let us ignore art. Let us pay attention to marketing.

Q: What is a newbie likely to want to paint?
A: An outdoor scene.

Q: What do outdoor scenes usually have?
A: Foliage, grass, etc.

Q: What color is the foliage?
A: Probably green.

Q: So, how do I, the manufacturer, create the marketing concept that this set of colors is a good one to boy?
A: Include green.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:35 PM
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Delofasht Delofasht is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

I agree with Pinguino, this is mostly about marketing to the demographic most likely to buy the product.

That said, going back to the idea of color theory, RYBG colors are the opposition theory colors. So beyond just being good marketing, it also has roots in how we perceive color as well, red/green - blue/yellow oppositions are commonly seen opposites. They function well for a basic palette, though I would prefer having a Magenta in my basic list of colors. Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Red are my core 4 (plus white when working with opaque media).
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:33 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

I agree with those who suggest that marketing is the possible motive.

However, the color, "Green", is the easiest color to create on the palette, by using other colors, as long as some form of primary Yellow is one of them.

When I taught oil painting, the first evening of class, I would suggest to my students that they take Cadmium Yellow Light, and try mixing it with every color on the palette, except Cadmium Red. My total palette consisted of Ivory Black, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow Light, and White.

Those other choices with which to mix Cad. Yellow Light were Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and Ivory Black. Every one of these mixes created either a "Green", or at least, a "Green-ISH" appearance.

My advice to my students was that it is actually quite difficult NOT to create some form of "Green", when you have Cadmium Yellow Light on the palette.

I seldom feel the urge to include a tubed Green on my palette, simply because it is so profoundly easy to create it by mixing other colors. But, I can easily understand the reason a manufacturer would include Green as a palette color for beginners, especially.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:31 AM
crazyfly crazyfly is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Awesome! Thank you everyone!
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:40 AM
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Ted Bunker Ted Bunker is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

I've always found the ivory black and yellow light combination rather mysterious*. Yes there's some blue in ivory black, but a neutralized primary yellow is perceived as olive even without the "blue" component. A digital HSV colorpicker saturation-slider goes green/olive as it transitions from yellow to a neutral gray.

[ * - There are plenty of technical explanations, but there are also wonders in the Universe to simply embrace and enjoy. ]
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:12 AM
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

I too tend to suspect the inclusion of green in paint sets is largely due to the perceived need/usefulness of it, especially for landscapes. A few other, at-least-as-good reasons to include green in your palette:

•green + red or magenta makes some of the darkest possible mixed colors & blacks, if both are dark to begin with (no white added)

•a high-chorma green can be a base color from which other, more natural greens are made, especially by adding yellow-orange, orange, brown, or even a bit of red. (counterpoint: if natural greens are your goal, not using any tube green at all might be a better idea - some artists might be able to go a lifetime without needing a tubed green)

•a tubed Phthalo green cannot be matched in chroma by any yellow + cyan (or blue) mixture. Sometimes you just need/want the highest-chroma green, turquoise, or vivid lime green...even for realism

•as stated here, red-green-yellow-blue opponent colors is possibly a better framework for describing how we perceive color in the world than a 3-primary framework. This also allows having 2 complementary (or near-complementary) mixing pairs, versus zero for most 3-color ryb/cmy palettes (although some red + blue combos can get kinda close to black)

Why not include orange or purple? Oranges can be mixed to a decently high chroma with a middle yellow + middle red. High-chroma purples are not common in nature (other than flowers), but it's a color I sometimes have a need for - just like high-chroma greens.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:03 PM
crazyfly crazyfly is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Thank you everyone! One thing to mention after making a couple paintings with cotman. Cotman's viridian hue defines *garish*.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:42 PM
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Colorful Easel Colorful Easel is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfly
Why green? What do y'all do with the green? And if green, then why not purple or orange? Thanks!

The short answer, which is also the strangest: People have trouble mixing green. Not kidding.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:57 PM
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llawrence llawrence is offline
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfly
Each set had ryb, black, white, and green. Why green?
It depends on what Y and B they included. If the set contains ultramarine and a warm yellow, then it makes sense to include a nice green because the mixed greens will be a little on the dull side.

But it would make far more sense to include a cyan and a primary yellow. Then the tube green is optional.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:30 AM
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Re: Red, Yellow, Blue...Green??

I'd put a good brown instead of a green, if I owned a paint company.
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