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Old 12-21-2013, 04:31 PM
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Reinhard1 Reinhard1 is offline
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The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

I am getting my feet whet in colour with coloured pencils, read a lot about colour theory (thanks for all the great information here), but I am looking for a 'practical' approach to understand which colours I have (Faber Castell Polychromos does not publish their pigments) so I need to visually sort my colours into an understandable and manageable form.

I have come across Don Jusko's Real Colour Wheel and need advice. I am thinking of purchasing one of his laminated colour wheels (I don't trust my ColorLaserJet to produce exact colours). Does anyone of you either have a personal experience with this or an opinion which might help me to come to a decision before going the 'trial and error route'.

Thanks for understanding and helping.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:53 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Reinhard1, I don't think it's absolutely crucial in itself which hue circle you use to sort your pencils, as long you can use it consistently, but the single most important thing you can accomplish is to sort them by value (at full strength), and the RCW won't help you with that. As you are only asking about the colour wheel itself I won't digress into a critique of the associated site, but you've probably noticed yourself that it is unreliable to say the very least!

The best currently available option for most people would be to use the hue pages in the New Munsell Student Colour Set (any edition). The book is supplied with the colour chips loose so that you can sort them yourself (an excellent exercise!), but if you wanted you could buy a student's used copy with the chips glued in place, as are available very cheaply on Amazon.com etc. The matte chips do not cover the full gamut of glossy oil paints, but I expect they would adequately cover the gamut of lightfast coloured pencils.

I'm sure you'll see for youself the great advantage over the RCW and other "colour wheels" of having the colours of each hue set out according to value and chroma independently. Unfortunately there are only ten hue pages, but you should find that you can interpolate satifactorily. Otherwise there is a Japanese atlas that has twenty hue pages and a 40-hue hue circle; it's also inexpensive, but it's a bit of a business to purchase it outside Japan.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...33&postcount=5
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:19 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Simpler, maybe, if you have a camera, is to take a black and white photograph of your colors. Then sort them by value. Then maybe take a second photograph to verify that you have them sorted correctly.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:08 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Don Jusko's Real Color Wheel seems to be one of the ONLY color wheels that have placed the colors in locations in which they actually belong from a scientific point of view.

It is, without a doubt one the only color wheels that actually contains the two primary colors, Cyan, and Magenta (most commercial color wheels don't even display those two colors, as if they don't exist). It also positions the primary colors, Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan, directly opposite their complementary colors, Red, Green, and Blue. To a color theorist such as I, that seems very logical.

If your plan is to own a color wheel that will demonstrate its use as a true, "tool" for the predicting of color mixes, this will accomplish that, and much better than most color wheels. Most commercial color wheels make rather good "decorations" to hang on the wall, helping to offer the impression that "Look, I am an artist." But, very few can be used as real tools, chiefly because they don't even contain two of the primary colors.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:29 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

I made my own wheel. The issue with using someone else's wheel is that they tend to have their own idea of where colors go, they might use a clockwise instead of couterclockwise system. So eventually I decided to make my own.

My color wheel is a vector image, not a raster image, so I can blow it up into any format without loss of quality.

I don't really rely on it anymore, but just making a wheel yourself is invaluable, you'll learn much more than buying a premade wheel.

Doing the chips in munsell's book is invaluable too.


Last edited by kinasi : 12-22-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:41 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
(most commercial color wheels don't even display those two colors, as if they don't exist)

I looked up "color wheel" in google and almost none of them display magenta, everything between blue and red is treated as violet in different tints. That's sad and hilarious at the same time.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:55 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Dr. Briggs, thanks so much for your input, suggestions and help. Seems that I need to do a lot of learning and studying. The multitude of diverging 'colour theories' is daunting to say the least and I am less sure after having read a number. I did not consider Munsell until now since I was, most likely erroneously, searching for something understandable and applicable. What drew me to RCW was the hope that I could get an idea where my colours are and deduct from that complements and harmonies. Plus it gives the feeling that one could use it as a guide for mixing. Munsell, without having even started to try to understand, seems rather logical and applicable, especially when looking for matching correct colours (Munsell colour chips) and my pens. What I have not seen so far is to understand how Munsell arrives at the chroma variations. Does this system use greys (according to the value) to tone down the chroma in the shades or is that the result of using complements.

On my iPad I have quite some Munsell colour chips as published by The Classical Lab. Still VERY theoretical. I think it would be wise to follow your suggestion and acquire the Student Colour Set and get started. I will definitely share my frustrations.

opainter, many thanks. That sounds like an interesting and useful approach.

William, thanks a lot for your input. I have printed the RCW and like the hue cirlce very much. What I was/am looking for is the shades. I think that a combination of the RCW and the artist colour wheel from handprint (with the pigments) will help me. Seems though that I can 'avoid' learning value and chroma via Munsell.

kinase, I thank you for your comment. Seems that one day I will need to do my own colour wheel. If that could be done with coloured pencils or if it were advisable to attempt it with acrylics or oil will be another step on my 'colour learning curve'.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:12 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

you can make shading series too when you're bored

david briggs his site is very helpful if you want to get them right

some sites and books (like Alla prima) tell you to just try to combine colors and see what happens, I honestly think that's not very useful, it's impossible to memorise what happens, but making color wheels and series is easy to remember

I made these in the past when I started out:


Last edited by kinasi : 12-22-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:26 AM
davidbriggs davidbriggs is offline
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard1
Dr. Briggs, thanks so much for your input, suggestions and help. Seems that I need to do a lot of learning and studying. The multitude of diverging 'colour theories' is daunting to say the least and I am less sure after having read a number. I did not consider Munsell until now since I was, most likely erroneously, searching for something understandable and applicable. What drew me to RCW was the hope that I could get an idea where my colours are and deduct from that complements and harmonies. Plus it gives the feeling that one could use it as a guide for mixing.

I sympathize regarding the multitude of colour "theories"; it's very difficult for the nonspecialist to separate the good from the bad, especially as the people who really do know what they are talking about don't always bother to point out the duds. Here's a comment you might find informative by Professor Mark Fairchild regarding one of the innumerable errors on the RCW website. Fairchild is Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Education and Director of the Program of Color Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and author of the textbook Color Appearance Models. He is undoubtedly one of the top ten researchers on colour alive today:

"... That reference, as well as most of the other information on the website you referenced, is erroneous. ... The website attempts to describe a "true" hue circle. The "trueness" of a hue circle depends on the objective for its use and the type of materials that are being mixed to produce the colors. There is little value in the website other than for mixing the specific transparent colorants mentioned by the artist."

http://www.rit.edu/cos/colorscience/rc_faq_all.php#262
(By the way, this whole FAQ is a goldmine of reliable, clearly expressed and interesting information on colour).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard1
Munsell, without having even started to try to understand, seems rather logical and applicable, especially when looking for matching correct colours (Munsell colour chips) and my pens. What I have not seen so far is to understand how Munsell arrives at the chroma variations. Does this system use greys (according to the value) to tone down the chroma in the shades or is that the result of using complements.

In the Munsell system each horizontal row is a series of colours that are same value, and increase in chroma in even steps. The Munsell system itself doesn't say anything about how to mix those colours with paint, but it can be used as a frame of reference for describing what happens when you mix paints. For example, when mixing a colour with a grey of the same value, the intermediate mixtures may drop a little in value, but when mixing the same colour with a complementary of the same value, the intermediate stages will drop a lot in value. (For this reason, painting systems that use the Munsell framework, such as the Reilly system, favor mixing with a grey of the same value as a much more controlled way of adjusting chroma than mixing with the complementary).

David

Last edited by davidbriggs : 12-23-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:49 AM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbriggs
(For this reason, painting systems that use the Munsell framework, such as the Reilly system, favor mixing with a grey of the same value as a much more controlled way of adjusting chroma than mixing with the complementary).

David

I use this approach a lot. It gets increasingly more difficult to mix colors when one has to rely solely on complements, because we have access to a wider and wider color gamut with extremely powerful pigments.

Low tinting strength hansa yellow light + phthalo blue = compensate hell, it's like driving a car without a steering wheel.

Sure, you can add the complement of hansa and of phthalo, and one for red, and one for blue....now you have 40 paints.

Compensating for the hue is possible, but when you use complements you are often so far off target, that it's a pointless attempt to try to balance something that is inherently very unbalanced.

Unless you add lower chroma paint to the palette for every color, to try to keep your complement mixes from going all over the place, which frankly isn't a practical solution. You'll just end up with 20 paints instead of 8 or 12 or something that is reasonable.

Well, reasonable for me, for me buying 20 paints is unreasonable, but I still want a wide gamut and controllable mixes and do it a price that is within my budget. I use about 8 paints and I quickly realised that complement mixing is a like going on a rollercoaster hoping you don't fall off the track once you introduce powerful pigments like phthalo.

Last edited by kinasi : 12-23-2013 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:03 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

kinasi, thanks a lot for the help and thoughts. Doing my own mixing studies is something I have to do once I am brave enough to pick up brushes instead of my pencils. And isn't it the truth that looking for the 'correct' complementary colour is rather taxing to say the least. Especially when one does not have any more information on how the companies arrived at their colours and give them fancy names on top.

Dr. Briggs, so helpful, many, many thanks. I am afraid that for all the learning I will have to do, I might be left with little or no time to draw. I am experimenting with greys (warm and cool) and am rather pleased with the results.

Just to show that your quest for the introduction on better colour wheels, these are 2 images from the wheel I am working with at the moment. Seems that they understood. I was/am hoping that with the Munsell colour chips I might be better able to put my personal colours into an understandable order and hopefully come up with more predictable mixing results.
Attached Images
  
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:45 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinasi
I use this approach a lot. It gets increasingly more difficult to mix colors when one has to rely solely on complements, because we have access to a wider and wider color gamut with extremely powerful pigments.

Low tinting strength hansa yellow light + phthalo blue = compensate hell, it's like driving a car without a steering wheel.

Sure, you can add the complement of hansa and of phthalo, and one for red, and one for blue....now you have 40 paints.

Compensating for the hue is possible, but when you use complements you are often so far off target, that it's a pointless attempt to try to balance something that is inherently very unbalanced.

Unless you add lower chroma paint to the palette for every color, to try to keep your complement mixes from going all over the place, which frankly isn't a practical solution. You'll just end up with 20 paints instead of 8 or 12 or something that is reasonable.

Well, reasonable for me, for me buying 20 paints is unreasonable, but I still want a wide gamut and controllable mixes and do it a price that is within my budget. I use about 8 paints and I quickly realised that complement mixing is a like going on a rollercoaster hoping you don't fall off the track once you introduce powerful pigments like phthalo.

Real paints are not complementary, no one pigment in the world have true complement counterpart. Therefore, complementary mixing needs more than two pigments to make real neutral gray.
I do not have any troubles when I use Phthalo Green and Blue to paint. Try intermediate dilution! These pigments are my favorite paints. Why do you love to stumble out of the blue with phthalo? There are also other potential rakes among palette paints!

I do not believe, guys! Epson color printer, which is ROBOT CAN mix Phtalo Blue easily, while Human, with his vaunted brain, CAN NOT! :lol
Add a small amount of Phthalo to a part of paint you need to mix. Then take a small amount of this mixture and add to a remaining paint pile. And voila, you beated this Epson scrap in color mixing!

Last edited by Gigalot : 12-25-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:23 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigalot
I do not believe, guys! Epson color printer, which is ROBOT CAN mix Phtalo Blue easily, while Human, with his vaunted brain, CAN NOT! :lol
Add a small amount of Phthalo to a part of paint you need to mix. Then take a small amount of this mixture and add to a remaining paint pile. And voila, you beated this Epson scrap in color mixing!

Epson printing grey:



without magnification:




I think complementaries have issues. The issue I have with them is 1. the stronger pigments become, the more removed complementaries are from each other, and the more that can go wrong. Mixing a cadmium yellow and red with a cobalt blue is cake, mixing a hansa yellow with a pyrolle red and phthalo blue is not cake any longer 2. complementaries never mix in a straight line, they will sway away when you get to low valuus 3. complementaries go total bonker from yellow up to red, earth colors aren't just popular out of tradition, they are tools to mitigate those issues 4. yellow is a horrible complementary 5. phthalo, I use them, but I know they are very uncontrollable, I'm not going to use a phthalo to knock down my hansa yellow, it is way too powerful to control, it sort of works with a knife, with a brush it is quite a challenge

I mean it's possible to just get 3 paints or 6 with extreme tinting strength and a huge gamut, ignore earths and ignore black, you'll get very clean mixes, but you'll be off your mark half the time, at least I'm often off my mark, I want to paint, not spend time trying to control phthalo.

The issue with the new modern pigments companies recommend, is that on one side you have hansa yellow usually, and on the other side you have an ultramarine or worse, a phthalo, that's a 1 to 100 ratio tinting difference or something. Bismuth has higher tinting power, but I might as well use cadmium then, since bismuth is according to Golden, just as bad as cadmium regarding toxicity, and bismuth isn't very high chroma.

The modern pigments have issues when you try to do complementary mixing with them, a lot more issues than old pigments. The gamut is much wider which leaves you open to mistakes, and the tinting strength, which was somewhat leveled out when using cadmiums, is all over the place now with modern pigments.

Last edited by kinasi : 12-25-2013 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:24 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard1
Especially when one does not have any more information on how the companies arrived at their colours and give them fancy names on top.

Maybe faber castell will tell you the pigments if you email them,not sure.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:37 PM
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Re: The Real Colorwheel - experience / advice?

kinasi, so I thought as well. I even visited them in Nürnberg but they treat the pigments as 'trade secrets'. The are still working with the Itten colour model and they even don't have a colour wheel with their pencils.
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