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Old 06-25-2019, 09:49 AM
snowsilk snowsilk is offline
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Luminous reds and pinks

Am obsessed with flowers and really struggling to get the luminous links and reds right!

Iím using Quin Rose and Quin Red, and have also tried under painting with yellow glazes. But the painting always dries down to a duller color than I would like. Iím trying to paint roses and magnolias and hibiscus - the glowing pinks and reds are so hard to get right.

Would appreciate any advice!

Some ideas:
1) experiment with new colors - maybe even resort to dreaded Opera Rose 😖
2) less strokes - one stroke and rest so paper doesnít get overworked
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:23 AM
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janinco janinco is online now
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

I've been curious about Holbein's Quinacridone Opera which they say is permanent. However in the description the lightfast rating says moderate. It's a combination of the original Opera plus PR122.

https://www.cheapjoes.com/holbein-ar...era-15-ml.html

Jan
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:44 AM
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CharM CharM is online now
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

I have been experimenting with Quinacridone Pink from Daniel Smith, PV42 and Quinacridone Rose from Da Vinci, PV19.

I tried Rhodonite from D.S. and liked the outcome, but it wasn't vibrant. Permanent Alizarin, Da Vinci's PV19, is a pretty red but does not water down to a lovely pink. It's dull.

Don't get me wrong, I love Opera with a passion. But as long as it is mixed with BV10, a dye, it's going to fade.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:11 PM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

PR122. I have made my own paint with this pigment and used Utrecht Intense Pink which is the same.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:00 AM
snowsilk snowsilk is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

Thank you! I'm diving into the world of pinks and purples and realizing so many are fugitive!
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:07 AM
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

I got excited about a red I saw in a Rick Surowicz video. The pigment is PR209. I believe his label was Quinacridone Coral by Daniel Smith. I bought DaVinci's version - labeled Quinacridone Red.

May be one to explore. Best wishes!
Frank
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:35 PM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

What is the reddest red, well you probably should have pyrrole red, ( perhaps pyrrole orange ) , and yes even opera rose and Quin magenta. I like both nickel yellow and benzi yellow. I like the benzi brown too ( daniel smith permament brown, it goes well with benzi yellow ) I like having PB16 ( actual phthalo turquoise ) and diox violet, and all the phthalos.

If you have these are still having an issue, the issue is not the color. You should be able to create convincing color if you just have browns. Color is to put it simply relative, its not an absolute. The problem you are trying to solve is one of absolutes, is this the right color, when the real problem you need to solve is relative color. That is a lesson those starting out in understanding color take a while to figure out.

Luminosity is an illusion, it is really more about mastering how we depict light, in a lot of ways its optical illusion, tricking the viewers mind. To get a bright luminous red, the focus should be less on the red, than on the dark and dull greens. Greens take a great deal of effort to master. The fact is our medium is duller, it will dry back, simply because its not oils. What the color actually is, that is not the problem, its never going to match the actual color.

My suggestion is focus for a while on de-saturated colors - such as the browns, read up on the Zorn palette. ( I am not saying this is how you should paint, I am saying this is something you should do as an exercise until its not impossible for you, after this "clicks" using actually saturated colors suddenly becomes a lot more powerful )

My own ability to get luminous oranges for example, it came when I realized that burnt sienna is an orange, suddenly instead of seeing it like a brown ( it looks completely different than my pyrrole orange ), now I see it as almost the same color as my pyrrole orange. To be honest if they are both in my palette I have trouble seeing which is which, when I started they were obviously different. This happened when I was doing a sunset using just ultramarine, burnt sienna and gold ochre, my version of the zorn palette, and I got the sky to look luminous just via contrast. Suddenly something clicked and how my mind categorized burnt sienna changed, and how I see the world changed.

If you think about it, there is NO WAY to depict colors as luminous as a sunset, when you are on location ANY color is not even close, but when you are no longer there, the question is does it look like a sunset. Is it luminous when its matted and framed. Its not about matching actual colors (absolutes), its about matching the feeling, and using the wrong colors but in the correct relative contrast, the wrong values often is necessary to capture the correct feeling.

This is about learning how to make ANY color work instead of figuring out the perfect color. It is about understanding how to mix color, and why desaturating colors works as a foil. Its like in comedy, people focus on the one delivering the punchline, not noticing the straight man setting up his partner for the perfect joke.

So too is color, think about negative painting, an important skill. Its about defining something not by painting it, but by painting what is not it. Think about how you handle color as much about how you paint what isn't the color, as about painting the specific color.

I have seen some wonderful approaches where the artist simply does a wash across the background using tints of bright colors, pastels even, while its wet into wet. Then they go in with dull and dark colors to not paint the subject, but to paint the background leaving the subject alone, this is done wet on dry, more calligraphy. Again they are doing the bright colors first, very light, but they don't look bright until they go in with the contrasting dark and dull colors.

Now back to green. This is something I learned from Van Goghs Blue irises. There is what I call a base green, a color which is arbitrary really. If you take this color and around it create a circle, you take some red and tint it just enough so its still green but its not brown, to get a red leaning green. Next do the same with yellow, get a yellow leaning green. Blue Leaning. Purple leaning ( this is often actually gray ). Orange leaning. This creates a color wheel of green. The only thing it does not have is a green leaning green. Learn what these greens are, learn to see a green and see where its leaning on the color wheel, as if greens are their own color wheel.



Now what I noticed van gogh did ( after accounting for the fading reds, he used alizarin like colors ), is he put the purple flowers adjacent to the yellowish green, yellow and purple are compliments. The orange earth, he put against the bluish greens. He not only created obvious contrast, but subtle contrast within the greens, knowing that complimentary colors maximize contrast.

He was not using the actual colors he sees, he was adjusting them. Classical artists for example would draw marble statuary, the perfect proportions, then when they would draw a real naked model, if they actually drew her as they saw her, not using marble proportions, they would be sent back to draw marbles. They were made to learn how to interpret what they really saw, thru a lens of ideal and heroic proportions, to exaggerate and convince.

Van Gogh said "Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model."

Do not be afraid to alter the colors, use more colors than you see, lean the colors, you are not a camera, rather your usage of color is an important part of the composition, it has to make sense independent of the model.

My first suggestion is to just practice practice practice, at some point you will notice the colors just start to pop more, the real issue isn't the paint, its skill level. Buying the brightest paint isn't going to sidestep this learning curve. Instead by my starting with dull colors, its kind of like walking with weights on your ankles and wrists, it makes you work harder, which develops your artistic muscles. Learn how to obtain rich color. This takes a while, but when it pops, you just go ahah, and it becomes intuitive.

My second suggestion is to really study color, take lots of trips to your local art museum, and when you look at pictures, ask why is this so luminous. Take an actual value scale with you. Look for obvious complimentary colors, and subtle ones where its leaning things like the green i described. The thing I notice is pictures often go very very dark, even the bright areas are often as dark as a 30-40% on a value scale.

I also suggest reading this book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (by James Gurney)
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:58 PM
DougInNC DougInNC is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

In general, I agree with Brian Meyer's explanations, but want to emphasize the importance of context when considering the relationship between a color and the colors near it, e.g. the luminance of the sun or sky. Closely examine other artists' work and you will likely find that they ensured that the intended luminous color was surrounded by complementary colors that were darker in value and duller by comparison. It is the context in which the luminous color is presented that (I understand) contributes the most to its lumosity, not the color itself.

Doug (the North Carolina one)
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Old 06-29-2019, 03:33 AM
snowsilk snowsilk is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

Thanks, I appreciate this! I understand the value of contrast, but have been hoping to achieve the intensity of the local color of some flowers. Having dived into the research, it seems like thatís basically unattainable without resorting to fugitive fluorescent colors like opera. So will have to live with that and work around it as you suggested!
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Old 06-29-2019, 04:04 PM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

To a degree your focus needs to be on application, my prior comments were about composition, about knowing what to use and why, but the how is very hard to learn.

I was just in an art contest, and the thing I noted talking to the people and seeing their work, that those who have a lot of mileage on the brush simply have better contrast, brighter colors. This is true if the person is a colorist or a tonalist, it just takes practice to get there. Even using really bright pure colors, its something that takes time to just figure out how to get those so they are bright on the page even if you are doing a single swatch of color. There were obvious tonalists toning every color with richer colors than beginners who were clearly using pure color.

This is because
You need to put the paint on and leave it alone, don't try to control it, let it dry then do your thing. Fussing is a beginner thing. Often the better artists seem to have a simple approach, they aren't doing more, they are doing less but that less says more.

The more times you touch the paper, the papers surface gets duller, the sizing weaker. Strong sizing gives brighter color. This is why most beginners will get better results on artist grade heavily sized paper. An artist who is a master can use anything, but still there is a slight benefit to using better sized paper.

You should take a look at this article on handprint
https://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/tech16.html

You can kind of figure this out doing swatches, just see how pure and vibrant each swatch can be. How diluted is ideal. What happens when you use too much paint and it bronzes. Does it have a satin finish that is kind of vibrant.

I am still learning this, we have a local artist, craig anderson, he just puts a single mark and it not only sings, its strong and vibrant too. Photos just don't capture this. He does very bold dark colors, but knows how they will dry, and gets the value right off the bat. Still no where close to what he is doing, but he has been doing it for 25 years. This is a basic thing you just work on, it is in a way a measure of your current level of skill.

Just don't forget its an illusion we are creating, perspective makes it look 3d, color and value make it something the brain relates to, we don't see with our eyes, we see with our mind. That is something you can really learn by studying. Often those who have teachers/mentors who improve rapidly, this is what they are learning.

The how of it, it comes thru doing, you don't have to know you are learning it, just paint a lot, every week, or every day, for a long time, and you just start seeing it in your work. How long you do it in a session is not as important as doing it for many, many sessions, in practice you are rewiring the brain, so be patient, it is a lot of work but it should be enjoyable work.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:15 PM
star fisher star fisher is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

At an art fair a few years ago, I watched a watercolor artist painting flowers in bright colors. I asked if she was using Opera for the pinks, and she told me that Opera was too bright for her. She said she used Daniel Smith Quinacridone Coral as a mixer to get the bright colors of her flower paintings. Since I am easily influenced by another artists color choices, I immediately brought a tube of Coral paint, even though I seldom do flower paintings. I could imagine that Coral could be used to brighten a red to get the color you are looking for.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:29 PM
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CallMeCordelia CallMeCordelia is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

Another vote here for DS Quin Coral. Honestly, I have never really learned to like using it, but it is a bright, bold pink colour. It reminds me of the pink frosting on Dunkin' Donuts, from when I was little. I can see it being very useful in florals and mixed towards red and orange. It almost felt like "Pthalo Pink" to me.

Noelle
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:06 PM
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calvin_0 calvin_0 is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

IMO the best pink that isnt an opera come from PR209... but the best pink gotta be Opera Rose.. also Holbein's Opera only got one star out of 3.. so it's not lightfast base on their rating..
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:29 PM
ctjane ctjane is offline
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

A helpful resource here is Jeanne Dobie's "Making Color Sing." And while the hue you end up using is important, I'm pretty sure she'd tell you to pay attention to the colors that are NEXT TO your pinks and reds--- using surrounding colors that are complements, and she is really big on grays--- "mouse colors" she calls them. And she helps you decide on the best "grays/neutrals," and how to mix them. She's all about "vibrant" colors, but preaches the importance of the environments of colors so that they will "sing." I probably learned more about color from her than from any other watercolor artist I've read or watched.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:50 PM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: Luminous reds and pinks

"Watercolor portraits that glow" by Jan Kunz is also good regarding color.
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