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Old 02-06-2019, 06:18 AM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is offline
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Munsell color system

For the last couple of days I have been amazed watching videos about the use of the Munsell book of Color championed by the UK artist Paul Foxton. Until then I thought that Still life artists were more focused on composition, concepts and values, instead of chroma, hue, and values. What he broadcasts makes a lot of sense, but he is very obsessed with the use of this system. I have purchased many videos in the last few months about still life and none of the artists mentioned the Munsell color system. I am trying to learn more about painting still life using oil.
Would someone make comments about it? Here is one of his videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5-fJaZUfhc&authuser=0
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:25 AM
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Re: Munsell color system

His way of approaching the use of color in painting makes perfect sense to me. very common concepts utilized broadly. Other artist / teachers might present these concepts differently, but not new concepts. From a teaching perspective I think his methods of instruction provide the learner with the classic “show, practice, and reinforce” lessons that ensure learning. I see it worthwhile.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:18 PM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is offline
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Re: Munsell color system

Agree with you Boogiechile. Watching Paul's video is making a lot easy for me to paint especially the shadows without creating mud or applying the wrong hues! For instance, if I am going to paint an orange, I will apply the this method and use the yellow hue but with lower chroma and darker value for the shadows. Bingo! The only change would be the reflected light from the surface of the resting table or floor.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:11 PM
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Re: Munsell color system

I’m not familiar with his techniques and only first saw the video through the link you posted. I studied painting in college where I learned and practiced similar. However, I hope that he also covers the importance of mixing together complementary hues (colors) for both low, (dark)values as well as high (light) values. I’ve read some artists referring them to Val-Hues.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:14 AM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is offline
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Re: Munsell color system

I will try to learn and use this technique and see what happens.
One thing I have noticed: watching, reading or learning from other artists no one has ever mentioned this technique until I run into Paul Foxton. What he states makes sense to me, however, to other this technique may be too cumbersome and non very practical.
This weekend I will try to practice the Munsell way to mix colors.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:23 PM
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Re: Munsell color system

I had a workshop last October in 2017 with Robert Burridge, acrylic artist from California who is widely known. He uses the Munsell but has renamed it and/or adapted it to his needs and he has youtube videos and a nice website that might give you more material to review. I quite like the system but takes some getting used to for sure.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:57 PM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is offline
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Re: Munsell color system

Thank you Kay!
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:14 PM
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Re: Munsell color system

I first heard of Munsell from Graydon Parrish in 2007.
He first spoke about it at the Cennini Forum (now closed)
There's quite a lot of information to be found about it, including:
https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-t...-color-theory/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/290608838045515/
https://munsell.com/color-blog/color-of-flesh/
http://www.classicalatelierathome.co...for-the-artist

I used to have the students book, and gave it to the local art college when I'd stopped using it.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:26 PM
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Re: Munsell color system

I found Paul's videos to be a revelation. I had watched Mark Carder's videos on color-checking and paint mixing, but the addition of Munsell explained a great deal to understand color; hue, value and chroma.

There are several phone/tablet apps available that help with using Munsell and Munsell Notation without the sacrifice of buying either the "Student Book", or the massive "Big Book". Also a number of web resources for Munsell. Even if they are not as scientifically accurate as using genuine Munsell chips, they are sufficient to understand the Munsell color space and how Munsell "works". It's not a guide to mixing paint hues/colors, but it can provide targets and signposts to mix towards.


Personally I don't think in terms of primaries and secondaries, not warm/cool.
...I find the Munsell color space more accessible.
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Last edited by Ted Bunker : 04-24-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:34 AM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is offline
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Re: Munsell color system

Trisha, Ted:
I now believe that any serious artist or amateur artist should know the Munsell color system and apply to the painting accordingly, however, the best professional painter rarely mentions this system because the mixture of colors is already ingrained in their brains as a whole and not solely about the Munsell color theory. I think they use it without thinking about it, just like a computer. If we understand values (The most important aspect), chroma and hue could be enough and not to go into the intrinsicaties of the subject.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:03 AM
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Re: Munsell color system

I had read about Munsell years ago, but undestanding Munsell and the color-space is so much more initutive while actually watching Paul working on the palette with his Munsell chips and real tube-paint. Hue, value and chroma becomes much more accessible via Munsell.

As a longtime landscape watercolorist I'm interested in low-chroma since so many landscapes fail due to poor chroma-control, and my goal is improving my plein air landscape painting. And much of the outdoor world is actually low-chroma contrasting dark values and light values. But it's hard to study and control hue, value and chroma in watercolor...so I'm going to explore with more controlled still-life studies in oils, starting with monochromatic studies and value alone. Unlike plein air where the light and composition are constantly changing, I can absolutely control the lighting in a still-life shadow box. And I can control the paint values minutely on the palette; titanium white, ivory black, burnt umber and burnt sienna.
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Last edited by Ted Bunker : 05-04-2019 at 02:09 AM.
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