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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-14-2009, 03:27 PM
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sidbledsoe sidbledsoe is offline
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Thanks Larry, limiting those colors is kind of like losing a load off your back and streamlines things, I that painting went very quick for me, no more than 2 1/2 hours total.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:28 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

The emphasis of the old time painters that painted outdoors and taught, such as Edgar Payne, Emile Gruppe, John F. Carlson, W. Chase...many was to develop an efficiency whereby one could slip into a gut hunch response or intuitive mode, and that mastering fewer pigments to suggest much brought you to that place quicker than trying to master many pigments "little"

There is more just about anything less will hold in common being few, than the many...and easier to imbue a working harmony and cohesiveness. The efficiency and thus the mastering of manipulating the few alllows the attention to be on the subject, the moment.

I think...there are glimpses of something magical the subject reveals to you when you simplify your methods and come to be fully cognizant and in charge of the moment.

If one is painting from life, especially outdoors...the light can change so abruptly that you can feel suddenly overwhelmed.

I think it is prudent to master a little at a time, then bit by bit add more. When you get to the point that the more and more results increasingly in frustration and losing control...its time to back off...
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:47 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

^^ i like that. sound words to take to heart. im working on a project at the moment, and im so stuck its not funny. i think im going to try this approach, three colours, and use the paper for white. the question, rather, the problem is choosing colours to work with that wont turn to mush on paper hahaha
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:49 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnDigby
I was messing with a variation of a three color palette in this piece, but my 'primaries' weren't exactly primary.

I used ivory black, (stand in for blue)
cad red, medium
yellow ochre

and titanium white.

This was a kind of experiment, and I found it suited this particular painting, since I didn't need a vast range of blues and greens. The subtle ones could be achieved (sort of) by mixing black with yellow or with white. Against the reds, these read as bluish (on her shirt) or greenish (didn't need this here) - all I needed for a portrait that was primarily warm.


this painting by the way, is fantastic.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:53 PM
halthepainter halthepainter is offline
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

For those of us who consider black not to be a color, this painting would be an exercise in two colors plus black and white. However black when mixed with white will normally tint toward red or blue. In this case my black tints as a blue.

I have also been working with oil pastels and this exercise was with Sennelier oil pastels because they are less firm than many other brands and can be blended. I used no solvents but just mixed one pastel stick on top of another on a paper palette.

I've been wanting to try the Swedish painter, Anders Zorn's palette. The Zorn palette is black, white, red and yellow.

A couple examples of Zorn's paintings:




I used Sennelier yellow, white, red, and black from the introductory set because they are soft and I could mix them with a palette knife. The yellow in the introductory set is obiviously a lemon yellow where as Zorn's yellow was a warmer yellow, probably a yellow ochre. This lemon yellow allowed me to mix in a smidge of black in the yellow to make an acceptable green. White with a smidge (technical term) of black produced a bluish tint.

The next image was my set up: Paper palette, my four pastels from the introductory set, palette knife, color shaper. I rubbed pastels on the paper palette, one into another and picked up the pigment with the palette knife and spread it on the canvas. The color shaper softened areas of the pigment and smeared it around a bit. The only direct applications of pastel sticks were on the lantern and on the stones, all the rest was with palette knife.




I used neither solvents nor linseed oil. The painting is on canvas panel, black gesso with a top layer of black gesso and marble dust. Image size it 8 by 10 inches.

Suggestions appreciated.


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Old 12-20-2009, 02:11 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

I believe that when one sets out to paint with a very limited palette, one usually has one of several goals in mind. One goal may be simply to learn how many resulting colors one can obtain by using a very bizarre, and unlikely palette. Another goal might be to determine how close to actual reality one can get by using another very unlikely palette.

In these cases, the selection of subject matter seems to contribute a great part to the inevitable success of the choice of those 3 colors.

Another goal might be to see how close to reality one can come, by using 3 colors whose characteristics have been designed, by laws of nature, to achieve such an appearance, and with the choice of subject matter being almost limitless.

In other words, I always ask myself, that if I were to be stranded on a desert island, with no more than 3 colors of paint (plus white), and at the same time be required to faithfully reproduce every color that I may encounter on that island, .....what 3 colors would I want.

The following painting is one that I did, as a challenge on Wet Canvas a long time ago. The challenge was presented to us artists who consider Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow as being the primary colors, and we were virtually challenged to prove that the particular subject offered could, in fact, be painted, using only those 3 colors (which some of us consider the true primary colors), and white.


"Breath Of Spring"...9" x 12" oil on canvas
This is a lower-resolution photo, so it is a bit pixelized.

While some may have considered this to be an actual "challenge," others of us did not. Creating nearly every color desired by using the primary colors is nothing very remarkable at all, and can be expected to meet with relatively successful results, whever it is employed.

It is really the using of 3 colors that are NOT primary colors to create a realistic-appearing result that is more of a true challenge.

The paints used for this painting are the following: Winsor & Newton Transparent Yellow 653 (for the primary, Yellow). Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose 502 (for the primary, Magenta). Winsor & Newton Winsor Blue (Red Shade) 706 (for the primary, Cyan)
The yellow is PY128. The Magenta is PV19. The Cyan is PB15.

I have since switched my choice for Cyan to Grumbacher Thalo Blue (PB15), but they basically are the same.

The one thing that this "challenge" actually caused me to do was to begin a more careful study of those colors that actually behave the best as primary colors--in other words, the closest colors I could get (in oil paint) to a true Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan. The three that I used were recommended by Winsor & Newton as their primaries, at the time, and they actually seemed to be as correct as anything I could get, without having at my disposal the color-measuring equipment that I used to use, when I was working. I have stuck with them for several years, now, and I consider them to be just about the closest choices for the primary colors. I still find it gratifying that whenever I may be having trouble achieving a color I'm trying to mix with other convenience colors, the reverting back to one, or two of these basics can often solve my problem.

One interesting thing to note is that each of these is a transparent color. Transparent primaries are useful for creating deep, dark colors, when mixed proportionally with each other. They are much more useful than cadmium colors, for example, that have a lightness built into them by way of their opacity. For example, while Cadmium Yellow can be very useful for creating lighter greens when mixed with Thalo Blue, Transparent Yellow performs much better for the creating of dark greens, when mixed with the same "Blue,".....and, without the addition of Black. There is no black paint represented in this painting.

So.....those are my 3 colors, and the reason I chose to use them was because of my unrelentless quest for reality. LOL Ain't painting fun? I love it!
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Last edited by WFMartin : 12-20-2009 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:30 PM
halthepainter halthepainter is offline
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Wonderful painting WF. Since the basic computer printers use magenta, yellow and cyan it shouldn't be too much of hardship to complete great paintings with those colors as you have done here.

It is interesting that you have observed that the transparent colors make better darks. I wasn't aware of that. That is very interesting.

Thank you for contributing to this thread.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:58 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Nice paintings Hal and Bill. Transparent primary colors will give you almost a black whereas with the same opaque primary colors you will get a dark brown.
Here are two quite good artists who mainly use three colors, Winton cad red deep, Winton ultramarine blue, and a cad yellow light. The reason they choose the Wintons is because of the transparent aspect. An artist grade cad red is opaque and an artist grade ultrablue is highly pigmented. Student grades add extenders to them and that increases the transparency. Also the cad red hue is a napthol and not opaque like real cadmium. Yellow is different, if they extend a yellow they generally add white and this decreases the transparency, hence the selection of an artist grade Cad Yellow. Bottom line, The transparency aspect increases the range of colors they can mix.
Some ban brands like Winton from their studio because the have lower pigment load and use fillers and such, here we have some professional artists who choose them because of that.
http://loriputnampaints.blogspot.com...c-palette.html
http://www.loriputnam.com/
http://www.dawnwhitelaw.com/
As I look over the work I think it is excellent but I do see a lack of some greenish blue skies and such that you can only get from cerulean or pthalos. I have these colors and did test mixing and will do some paintings when I get time to, and would like as few as possible for plein air so this may work good for that too.
I started with watercolors many years ago and used only red, yellow, and blue for many paintings and I think it was a good way to start.

Last edited by sidbledsoe : 12-20-2009 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:22 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Don’t forget there are such things as natural pigments meaning they appear natural to the eye. Where as a three colour pallet of the three primaries don’t really work. The mistake for those who are interested or who might be on the cusp of this type of awareness is that we confuse light with pigments. Light has three primaries basically and we think we can get away with this but if a natural appearance is what you might be after this 3 primary pallet is lost in vividness and very hard to control for those who want a more natural connection to our world.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:33 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Thanks for sharing Bill...I remember that painting of yours from a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
It is really the using of 3 colors that are NOT primary colors to create a realistic-appearing result that is more of a true challenge.
The opposite can be true at least as often; a CMY triad (a Phthalo blue or cyan and a Quinacridone rose or magenta) might mix un-necessarily chromatic purples, magntas, and greens, requiring a lot of graying down, while reds and oranges possibly not chromatic enough. I find a traditional red-yellow-blue palette easier to control and use, and usually more suited to mixing the natural range of colors in the world; it's limitations are its strength. If using 'real' primary colors is so much easier, why are there so few (any?) people/portrait painters using a CMY triad?
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:46 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Painting with only the three primaries routinely is most certainly not a very easy or practical way to paint, because it requires much unnecessary mixing. I would not recommend it as a standard practice, nor would I do it. But neither does one need to settle for overly brilliant, garish, or unreal colors, when working with just the primary colors.

My point is that painting exclusively with the 3 primaries does not necessarily have lead to a garish, or unreal-appearing result. It is true that it can, if one is not careful to control it. The "controling of it" is, as the previous poster mentioned, definitely required, but all that takes is a bit of addition of the complement to gray it (dirty it, dull it, etc., etc.)

Just because something such as using only 3 primary colors is effective doesn't mean that it is also efficient, and it surely is not. But, that is why we have so many other colors from which to choose.

The topic of this thread was "What do you do with three colors & white," and this is surely one thing that can be done with three colors and white, when one chooses the primary colors as those "3 colors". Just because I did this on a challenge does not mean that I'm recommending it as a standard practice, because that would be ridiculous. I have never done it since....it's too slow. But, in doing so, I did learn a lot regarding the usefulness of transparent colors, and that, alone, has proven to be a great advantage to my work.

To be quite honest, it was the tremendous usefulness of the transparent colors in mixing dark values that I actually learned from this little exercise. I already knew that the primary colors would behave the way they were supposed to, before I began. Sort of a serendipitious thing, I suppose.
Strange how we learn very useful things, when we're not even trying to.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 12-20-2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:18 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Hal,
Here is one I just did which is what I consider a quick study. Sometimes I go on a tear and do these quickies as I think it improves several things like brush handling, painterly style, and other things, but that is a different story. Here I am just using three earths, yellow ochre, venetian red, and ivory black. Not going for exact color matching here. This took no more than about an hour or so. There is something fun and also very relaxing about using only three colors and three earths at that to boot!

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:41 PM
halthepainter halthepainter is offline
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Beautiful job Sid. For all intent and purpose that is the Zorn palette.

Great job.

Here is another try with the Zorn palette that I completed yesterday.



Sid, if you should be interested the link below will put you into the Oil pastel's travel thread. It's our version of the Reference Library. If you scroll up and down through the thread there are a few photos from my life in the Air Force. Photos: formation in T33, refueling, islands, R&R in Bancock with many temple photos and some of a water market. Even some from back when I was a midshipman, and the USS Boston, and the Battleship Wisconsion and the Panama Canal.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...=555788&page=2

Last edited by halthepainter : 12-20-2009 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:53 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Good paintings, Sid & Hal !

There surely is something relaxing and pleasant about using a palette of 3 colors that are not primaries. For my landscapes, I have cut my palette of colors way, way down from that which I had used before. For one thing, there is less confusion when it comes to creating a color that I had mixed a day or so before. When there is a limited number of colors on my palette, the guessing regarding which ones I used to achieve a particular hue is a lot less than with a greater palette.

A palette of only 3, rather earthy colors is usually quite sufficient for painting most skin colors, as well. It creates a situation in which I am automatically forced to mentally assess the approximate contribution of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow that each of those earth colors contribute to the mix, and in much more controllable amounts than if I were to use the primary colors in their pure, tubed forms. There is a big difference between using the pure, primary colors on my palette (which I almost never do) and applying the understanding of how those primaries behave when being contributed by the more subtle, tubed colors on my palette (which I always do). The former requires much more physical effort; the latter, just a bit more knowledge, but a lot less work.

There is a lot to be said for using a limited palette of earth colors, whether you are trying to emlulate reality, or not. Those of us who prepare careful monotone underpaintings of grisaille, or verdaccio are well aware of the fact that value is probably more important than actual hues, when it comes to the depiction of realistic paintings.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 12-20-2009 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:27 PM
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Re: What do you do with three colors & white

Thanks alot for the link and info and for your service too Hal. You know what I was talking about Bill. When you only have a few colors to contend with, mixing is streamlined and rapid, that's why I am looking at the other palette I mentioned for plein air. I see my photo looks just a little washed out, irl it is slightly more contrasty. The red is Georgian venetian red, add a little W/N ivory black and it looks like an even deeper red.
The yellow ochre is W/N py42, mixes with the ivory to a fairly strong green, never a gaudy John Deere green though. With these three plus your three highly chromatic hues you can really cover a lot of ground.

Last edited by sidbledsoe : 12-20-2009 at 11:30 PM.

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