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Old 01-31-2013, 02:11 PM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Hello,

I hope you are all well, and are ready to give advice
I have completed a drawing in pencil, and then a grey scale painting on top of that as a value study. Shown below. I am working on cardboard at the mo so I can work quick and iron out mistakes.



So I have my grey scale greys mixed from 1-5 (leaving 6 and 0 for shadows and highlights). Which is what I painted the above from.

I then wanted to paint the ribbon in a peach colour, so I pre-mixed the same scale from 1-5 in peach (yellow, red and white), but when I went to paint over the grey layer all the values seem to blend together with no value in them

I am not sure what I did wrong as I 'think' I matched the values correctly.
The main body of the ribbon in a 4 and the darker shadows you see far right a 3, which would consist of not much white.

When I mixed my peach I had to add white as it is the main bulk of the colour. Do you think I mixed too much white and the values 4 and 3 would be mainly yellow and red with not much white at all?

I hope someone/anyone can understand my ramblings and offer some help in converting a greyscale painting to a colour painting.

Many thanks for reading.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:22 PM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

So a quick update, here is the scale I worked from below :



The top grey scale is the one we are talking about and the peach below it, I want my peach colour to be rich, but it appears to be more washed out. So I tried to make it darker by adding grey to it, but that dulled it.

Question: To get the rich darker colour of the grey say a 2 or 3 on my scale when the local colour is more a 4 how would I do this? By adding less white to start with so it is more saturated?

Here is what happened when I added grey >



my dark colour became muddy!!

Also I do not think the grey later adds anything to the colour layer, could I miss it altogether and work from a detailed pencil drawing and use that as my grey layer?

Many thanks in advance
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:06 PM
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dirtysteev dirtysteev is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Aside from value five, your color mixes are much lighter across the board than your grey scale. I see your 'peach value two' matching your 'grey value four'.
Quote:
When I mixed my peach I had to add white as it is the main bulk of the colour.
I would approach it differently. Don't think of peach as your main color. Start with a mid tone, then mix lighter tints and darker tones of it. Peach can move towards red, or towards sienna as it gets darker. If you start with a very light peach as your 'base' color it is difficult to advise how to darken it because we don't really know what color you are working with. Darkening can be a matter of adding more pure color, or mixing a compliment, or some people mix in black [I don't advise this], it depends on what your base color is. Hope this makes sense.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:21 PM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Hello dirtysteev,

Thank you for reading and understanding. Ok I am agreed with you about needing to be darker in general, so lets say I mix the mid tone peach like you say and then add white to lighten, that is all good

What would you say would be the best way to darken it from the mid tone?

You say you don't know what colour I am working with? What do you mean?
(I used white as the base adding a dash of red and quite a bit of yellow to make my peach mid tone) - perhaps I could just use red and yellow only to be the darer peach?

Darken by adding pure colour - would be adding red and yellow the pure colours I made the peach with, and less or no white?

Thanks again in advance

x
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:29 PM
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

I would venture since your peach is a light orange, you might try darkening with a light purple, ie lavender and see if this works?
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:33 PM
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Ok, let's say you are mixing red and yellow [achieving some kind of orange] to get your 'base mid-tone'. You are adding white to lighten, no problem. If your base mid-tone leans toward red you might add more red, and a little green to darken it. However, let's say instead you are using sienna as your base mid-tone, [another kind of orange, probably a bit darker than your red/yellow mix]. To darken this I might add a bit of ultramarine blue. I guess what I am getting at is that the actual color you start with [ignore the white] is what will inform you how it should be darkened.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:38 PM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Hello dirtysteev - brilliant THANK YOU

now off to experiment... see what happens

x
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:39 PM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Thank you Lucylove
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:39 PM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Right back again....

the second try does not look much different! Although they are darker so that is a start I guess. Any advice on getting good steps between values?



thank you
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:11 PM
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Are you painting opaquely?
If so, I would approach it this way ...
Mix three colours separately rather than trying to adjust one by lightening it or darkening it.
I use only high chroma colours, but this is how I would do it;

Choose an orange as the base colour, say cadmium orange.
Mix white with the orange until you get the value that you want, and if it is too saturated, then lessen the saturation with a grey of the same value.
You may want to adjust the hue with a little yellow or red.

Mid colour, ... do exactly the same. If the value you are after is lighter than the cadmium orange, mix white into it until you get to the right value, or if it is darker, mix black into it, then add grey of the same value until it is the right saturation.

Exactly the same process with the darkest values.
Now matter how you go about mixing your colours, the idea is to mix a string of colours that are different values, but are all the same hue and saturation.
If you add black or white (or grey) to a colour, you will lower its saturation. (Meaning, you can't mix a mid colour and expect to lighten it and darken it without decreasing saturation. The mid colour would be saturated than the other two.)
(There are a couple of exceptions like adding white to phthalo blue will increase saturation up to a point, but in the majority of pigments, it will decrease.)
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Last edited by Ron Francis : 01-31-2013 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:38 AM
0chre 0chre is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

I think you are thinking too much in terms of local color. You are trying to make a dark peach and a light peach from your initial peach color, but in thinking this way, you don't wander away enough from your starting color, creating colors that are too similar (this is a known general psychological priniciple, so there's nothing wrong with you ). A peach color in the shadow isn't peach anymore (objectively). It only looks like peach, because your brain registers the lighting conditions and therefore knows that the object it sees is peach.

So I second Ron's advice to mix separate colors in stead of adjusting one, although I'm not sure I agree that you should mix only different values and keep the hue and saturation the same. Not in general, anyway, but for your ribbon, it will probably work.

If you use burnt sienna (a dark reddish orange) as your base color for your dark mixes, you don't have to add a lot of other colors to make it darker (like you would if you use cadmium orange as your base color), maintaining a higher saturation.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:12 AM
bellawolf bellawolf is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

This is brilliant advice thank you SO much 0chre and Ron I probably was asking a pretty obvious question, but I have been working in grey scale for the past two years, so colour is very new to me.

I will mix up some more of the peach values this weekend, with all the brilliant advice in mind and report back

Are there any good books or sites I could read you could advise me on as well re colour mixing

thanks again. x
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:25 AM
0chre 0chre is offline
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

James Gurney's blog and book (Color and Light) are great sources of information on this matter. (gurneyjourney.blogspot.com
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:51 PM
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Bella,
I don't know any books but if you really want to submerse your brain in all things technical about colour and paint look here:
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/index.php

If you have photo editing software then I would suggest some experiments.
If everything is illuminated by a white light, including shadows, as a colour gets lighter and darker it should stay the same hue and saturation, but its value should change.
With this in mind, you could make a peach colour, then sample that colour and look at its HSB components. (Hue, Saturation and brightness).
You can then create new colours by only modifying the brightness component and this will show you what that colour should look like as it gets lighter or darker.
On another forum we refer to this as a shading series.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:43 AM
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Re: Greyscale to colour issues, please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellawolf
...
The top grey scale is the one we are talking about and the peach below it, I want my peach colour to be rich, but it appears to be more washed out. So I tried to make it darker by adding grey to it, but that dulled it....
It seems clear:

in the scales you are presenting, the peach#2 is a lot clearer and washed out than the gray#2.

To increase the intensity of the peach#2, you must increase the quantity of the same components, not of gray. If those components do not help you, you have to switch to other reds, or other yellows...

In any case, remember that the best results are obtained with scales of color with different tendencies of the clear point and the dark point: in the case of "peach color" for example, the clear values should have more yellow than the medium value, and the darks more blue. This I call "dynamism of color".

Eduardo
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