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Old 11-04-2014, 09:00 AM
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never using green, what about purple

I've heard some painters exhort that a tubed green should not/never be used. Since this advice more often comes from good painters rather than amateurs, I figure there must be some wisdom in that advice.

Do those who advocate against having a tubed green also purposely not include a purple? Dioxazine purple can be mis-used just as much as PG7...been there, done that. But I find a tubed purple to be equally useful (or even important) to have on the palette as a tubed green. In landscape scenes, I find that judiciously throwing in small amounts of purple here and there can tie things together like few other colors can...especially in fall scenes.

So I want to hear: is purple as off-limits to you as green is?
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:38 AM
indraneel indraneel is offline
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Re: never using green, what about purple

My copious use of PG17 holds me back from learning how to use the yellows oranges and cyans effectively. I really should limit my use of greens to mixing turquoise.

As for PV23, it's exorbitant price has helped me learn how to use the extremely cheap UMB much better. A purple or a violet has a lot of blue in it, so why spend more? Also, I find a tubed purple even less useful than green. While green can serve as a notation for foliage, purple stands for nothing special. It has to be continually varied to make it useful. I have a purple watercolor brush, and can't even sketch with it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:30 AM
Mythrill Mythrill is offline
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Re: never using green, what about purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
I've heard some painters exhort that a tubed green should not/never be used. Since this advice more often comes from good painters rather than amateurs, I figure there must be some wisdom in that advice.

Do those who advocate against having a tubed green also purposely not include a purple? Dioxazine purple can be mis-used just as much as PG7...been there, done that. But I find a tubed purple to be equally useful (or even important) to have on the palette as a tubed green. In landscape scenes, I find that judiciously throwing in small amounts of purple here and there can tie things together like few other colors can...especially in fall scenes.

So I want to hear: is purple as off-limits to you as green is?

Hi, Patrick!

I'm not a professional painter, but I think that you shouldn't hold yourself from using Dioxazine Purple (PV 23) if it looks good on your composition.

I believe the biggest mistake people make in acrylics and oils, where pigments are highly saturated, is to use them pure, out of the tube.

The problem of using any high-chroma, tubed pigment without "tempering" them is that they will make your composition look flat and boring; in fact, this is true even with colors that have low chroma, such as single-pigment blacks and whites.

Yes, I'm considering single-pigment blacks as colors, since they have different biases. The same goes for white pigments.

In his "Book of Color", Munsell said the best colors are those that are "tempered" – that is, tweaked with other colors to make them fit a particular context.

Color harmony is the most important feature of your painting. There are many skilled painters who will only stick to a CMYK palette, while other equally good painters will use 12-pigment palettes. The big picture is: does everything look good together?

People correctly point that you shouldn't overmix colors with black, but let me point something a bit less obvious: do not overmix colors with white. Not only it does have a bias, but it can also make every light color look dull and flat really quickly. To get more luminous colors, mix your pigment with inert pigment and binder, and use white (any) when you specifically want a certain hue or opaque accents. This should allow you to explore the delicate subtleties of some pigments, such as the soft, beautiful undertone glow of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42).

I personally avoid using Dioxazine Purple (PV 23) because of the variable lightfastness among brands, and because I like softer purples in general. If you use it, though, it's good practice to glaze a more permanent pigment of similar hue so that it won't affect the hue of Dioxazine Purple too much while still greatly increasing lightfastness. This works like a "natural", permanent varnish, if you will, much like the old master's technique of allowing Indigo to dry and glazing Lapis Lazuli over it.

In the case of Dioxazine Purple, a good pigment to use as an upper glaze is Ultramarine Violet (PV 15, Red Shade). Since you love acrylics as well, here's Daniel Smith's sample:



It's more saturated and redder than most brands. I have it myself, and I love it. It's very transparent when used alone!
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:51 AM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

I believe that any tubed color can be useful. I am one of those who often cautions against using tubed greens, and I find that I put tubed purples in about that same category.

I've mixed my own greens for over 20 years, but the doesn't mean that I feel that one should make a practice of never using tubed greens. Just as the use of tubed Blacks, or tubed Purples, all those colors (including Greens) respond very well when used in mixes.

The problem with many tubed colors, such as Greens and Purple, is that beginners tend to use them......and when I say "use them", I mean all by themselves. These colors work very well when used as ingredient colors in mixtures of color. A tubed Viridian (Green) works wonderfully when employed almost as a Cyan, and other colors are mixed with it, such as Yellow. As a "Green" I consider it quite atrocious, and inappropriate. Who could possibly consider using Viridian as it comes from the tube?

The same goes for Dioxazine Purple. It works well, when used in mixes, and once in awhile for painting a flower, if that flower just happens to be the precise color of tubed Dioxazine Purple.

As much as I have advised against the use of tubed Greens in the past, I have been on a "use up old paint" campaign lately, and when I forced myself to squeeze some Viridian onto my palette, I found it very useful as a mixing color. And, as a mixing color, Dioxazine Purple can be somewhat useful as a graying component for certain colors, as well.

Jerry Yarnell, the TV, acrylic painter, throws Purple into just about every color that he mixes, yet his paintings seldom appear "purple" at all.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:33 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

Oh good grief!

Dioxazine Violet is an essential color, a good mixer that will mute oranges and golds and yellows gorgeously and darken anything in a way different from black. Extremely good mixer.

However, I am NOT in the camp of people who say, never use a tube green. It seems to be very common for landscape painters to avoid green, avoid saturated greens, avoid unmixed greens, mute all green or avoid it completely in favor of a brown forest in dried tawny grass. That does not work for a rain forest, cold West Coast or hot Amazonian!

Green pigments are useful. Green can be used to mix and modify other colors. I just mix it with other colors. You can modify it in so many directions, use it to knock down reds to make a jazzy brown instead of a single pigment brown or gray. It's useful. They're all useful. Yes, for absolute minimal palette I will use the one Winsor & Newton first recommended to try their watercolours - Lemon Yellow, Permanent Rose and French Ultramarine. That's a good triad which will give a nice clean spectrum in mixing or allow plenty of muted intermediate hues if all three are used.

However that's still only three pigments and what happens when a painting, especially a landscape painting, is based on a secondary triad is rich and exciting. It's very unified. Pthalo Green and a Quinacridone orange and Dioxazine violet together, with white to tint, could make an absolutely splendid forest scene. You'd get muted primaries and strong secondaries because the primaries aren't pure, but in general you only need a bit of light blue for sky on a sunny day - and if it's overcast all you need are the shimmering grays produced by glazing or layering all three.

I primarily use pastels but my favorite colors for clouds are tints of orange, green and violet. Mixing and overlaying them results in subtle, shimmering cloud grays of different values that can lean in any direction. It would work in oils or acrylics the same way. I could do it in watercolor just as easily with several techniques.

So tube green does serve a purpose. Why is it assumed that if you have it, you'll turn all the grass and foliage monochrome tube green instead of using it with all the flexibility and harmony of other colors?
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:39 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

I use them in mixes, but rarely straight from the tube.
They never look like a "natural" color to me..so I mix something with it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:47 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
I believe that any tubed color can be useful. I am one of those who often cautions against using tubed greens, and I find that I put tubed purples in about that same category.

I've mixed my own greens for over 20 years, but the doesn't mean that I feel that one should make a practice of never using tubed greens. Just as the use of tubed Blacks, or tubed Purples, all those colors (including Greens) respond very well when used in mixes.

The problem with many tubed colors, such as Greens and Purple, is that beginners tend to use them......and when I say "use them", I mean all by themselves. These colors work very well when used as ingredient colors in mixtures of color. A tubed Viridian (Green) works wonderfully when employed almost as a Cyan, and other colors are mixed with it, such as Yellow. As a "Green" I consider it quite atrocious, and inappropriate. Who could possibly consider using Viridian as it comes from the tube?

The same goes for Dioxazine Purple. It works well, when used in mixes, and once in awhile for painting a flower, if that flower just happens to be the precise color of tubed Dioxazine Purple.

As much as I have advised against the use of tubed Greens in the past, I have been on a "use up old paint" campaign lately, and when I forced myself to squeeze some Viridian onto my palette, I found it very useful as a mixing color. And, as a mixing color, Dioxazine Purple can be somewhat useful as a graying component for certain colors, as well.

Jerry Yarnell, the TV, acrylic painter, throws Purple into just about every color that he mixes, yet his paintings seldom appear "purple" at all.

There it is.

Beginners look for the tube that matches the local color of the subject and paint it monochrome, then get disappointed when it's not as effective as mixed color. The pumpkin is Cadmium Orange and the stem is Sap Green, but what if I use a little Sap Green into the orange and a little Cadmium Orange into the stem and a bit of Dioxazine Violet in the shadows of both - let's say watercolor here or transparent glazes. I can get many more nuances, the pumpkin isn't a plastic one and may show a little unripeness, the muted and grayed areas are natural and the shadows look very true where I use all three together. The creases turn nearly black with the violet. The twisted stem has depth and roundness.

I think the way I would teach the lesson is to focus on mixing itself. Secondaries and earth colors and grays are all convenience colors. "Flesh" tubes are a base for pale complexions, but you could do just as well with a tint of Burnt Sienna. I use Burnt Sienna as my Caucasian skin base. Works to play with it in all directions for complexion variations, color of light and values.

One of the ways to show the beginners is to pick out light, dark, muted and off color areas in a photo of the subject, say bright green foliage, where they find out how many places light blue or orange or violet or dark brown-gray turn up and that the bright spring green is only where the sun is behind a translucent leaf, the sap green is mostly where light meets shadow in the penumbra. Leaf studies may help. Loads of things can teach he value of mixing.

But I'd get them painting first with a primary triad and then with a secondary triad to get a feel for what that does. Limited palettes do unify a painting. But there's more than one way to scan a cat, and "no tube green" or "no tube secondaries" leads right into the theme of green avoidance, which is something else.

Purple really is that good a mixer and will improve just about anything. Turquoise makes a good accent in a green forest. Pink actually works in places where I least expect it. Yes, the mid hue full saturation emerald green doesn't occur in nature, but sometimes if there's a green plastic toy in the scene the hue is actually its local color.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:49 PM
Mythrill Mythrill is offline
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Re: never using green, what about purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
Why is it assumed that if you have it, you'll turn all the grass and foliage monochrome tube green instead of using it with all the flexibility and harmony of other colors?

Because let's be honest: we, as human beings, tend to overestimate colors, and represent them much more saturated as they actually are.

Case in point with Phthalo Green (PG 7). It's so green it blinds you. When most people first see it, they get dazzled by how pure and intense it is.

The problem is that most greens in real life aren't perfect greens: one speckle of that dying leaf leans more to a grayish green, then another to yellow, then to a muted orange... and then, there are the landscape trees around, with that dark, muted, olive-ish green.

But us, poor human beings, see that beautiful olive-ish green, and we just can't believe it is a bit gray! Then, that shimmering Phthalo Green smiles to you, whispering, "Hey... make all the landscape mine!"

When we enslaved by the pure chroma of Phthalos, you realize they took over and flattened over all our painting. In other words, Phthalos are like the junk food of painting: they might taste good and tempt us to use them, but it doesn't mean they will create a "healthy" painting!

Honestly, making Munsell-like color chips helped me in this aspect. I still get surprised when I see the "pure" color of the "blue" sky... only to realize it isn't so "pure" nor so "blue", after all.

Last edited by Mythrill : 11-04-2014 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:51 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mythrill
Hi, Patrick!

I'm not a professional painter, but I think that you shouldn't hold yourself from using Dioxazine Purple (PV 23) if it looks good on your composition.

I believe the biggest mistake people make in acrylics and oils, where pigments are highly saturated, is to use them pure, out of the tube.

The problem of using any high-chroma, tubed pigment without "tempering" them is that they will make your composition look flat and boring; in fact, this is true even with colors that have low chroma, such as single-pigment blacks and whites.

Yes, I'm considering single-pigment blacks as colors, since they have different biases. The same goes for white pigments.

In his "Book of Color", Munsell said the best colors are those that are "tempered" – that is, tweaked with other colors to make them fit a particular context.

Color harmony is the most important feature of your painting. There are many skilled painters who will only stick to a CMYK palette, while other equally good painters will use 12-pigment palettes. The big picture is: does everything look good together?

People correctly point that you shouldn't overmix colors with black, but let me point something a bit less obvious: do not overmix colors with white. Not only it does have a bias, but it can also make every light color look dull and flat really quickly. To get more luminous colors, mix your pigment with inert pigment and binder, and use white (any) when you specifically want a certain hue or opaque accents. This should allow you to explore the delicate subtleties of some pigments, such as the soft, beautiful undertone glow of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42).

I personally avoid using Dioxazine Purple (PV 23) because of the variable lightfastness among brands, and because I like softer purples in general. If you use it, though, it's good practice to glaze a more permanent pigment of similar hue so that it won't affect the hue of Dioxazine Purple too much while still greatly increasing lightfastness. This works like a "natural", permanent varnish, if you will, much like the old master's technique of allowing Indigo to dry and glazing Lapis Lazuli over it.

In the case of Dioxazine Purple, a good pigment to use as an upper glaze is Ultramarine Violet (PV 15, Red Shade). Since you love acrylics as well, here's Daniel Smith's sample:



It's more saturated and redder than most brands. I have it myself, and I love it. It's very transparent when used alone!


Thank you. That's useful knowledge. I didn't realize some brands of Dioxazine Violet weren't lightfast. I love the Daniel Smith paints and also love their high information website, it's so useful. I collect way too many of their watercolors but DS was how I got in the habit of trying weird triads to do a painting. They do those discount triads and it's always the right palette for the sample painting, often a very flexible palette for other paintings. Net result, I wind up using the palette I feel like at the time to fit that subject and that painting and that mood rather than developing a personal favorite palette of just a few pigments. Changing it up keeps me interested and experimenting.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:48 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

I don't have Dioxazine violet. But I have many other violets including a mixture of PR122 + UMB which is made in China paint. It is perfect violet color. I think, Dioxazine (and Russian caviar) must be used in it's pure form in which it is most saturated and vivid violet in the world! Do not needs to buy Dioxazine to mix dull violets or brown. My Caput-Mortuum can do this job!

I suspect, Diox is one of the most gorgeous colors, probably the best of the best. It has some red-violet duo-chrome effect.

Last edited by Gigalot : 11-04-2014 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:38 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

What's so bad about using a tube green. People hate a wide gamut or something? My little niece can paint, she knows how to lower the chroma of green with red or black. She is 6 years old.

The benefit of tube green is simply a wider gamut, why be scared of more options. Not everyone wants to paint dull pictures with sap green.

Diox is fun to use, but it's so easy to reach with ultramarine and quinacridone that I don't have it in my palette. If I had to use a violet I would use an ultramarine violet I think.

Last edited by Lobke Spain : 11-04-2014 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:50 AM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

The list of single pigment greens is pretty short, and purples/violets even shorter. A lot of them, the cobalts, are expensive. Since ultramarine blue is as cheap and available as it is, and since many standard palettes include a cool red, I would expect that a lot of people just mix the two for purple if they need it.

For mixing purposes purple can do a lot, but there aren't many objects that are actually purple. Plus, unlike orange/blue and green/red, it's really hard to get a black or even a neutral from yellow/purple, with most purples. They aren't quite the mixing compliments that you would expect from looking at most color wheels and you often end up with a reddish color.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:29 AM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

I'm with Rob. It's about mixing and understanding how get the colours you want. Sometimes it helps to adjust from a tube green as base, sometimes I mix my own. No rules. Tube colours, as they are, need adjusting as they aren't natural.

And viridian is an absolute essential in my palette as it makes wonderful darks with alizarin crimson or perylene maroon - deep dark greens through to intense burgundy, with black in between. Also for the colours in the shallow water in Cornwall where I love to paint, where the colours change from vivid blues to viridian over the pale sand in shallow water. Even on a grey day, the greys have a hint of viridian.

And purple and magenta are essential for flower painters, again mixing them with other pigments as needed.

Grey is the colour I would almost never buy. I would far rather mix my own and have variations in it.

I never expect to have 'the' right colour in a tube, it's a rare bonus when it happens
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:13 PM
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Re: never using green, what about purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
I've heard some painters exhort that a tubed green should not/never be used. Since this advice more often comes from good painters rather than amateurs, I figure there must be some wisdom in that advice.
So I want to hear: is purple as off-limits to you as green is?
I have heard that before and have found the oposite personally Patrick. I find the vast majority of painters( that I look up) that are selling in major gallerys and making money use semi large palettes. These are artist without a specialized type of painting ie., just a palette knife and YO. I am refering to Oil painters BTW.
Heres a few: Charles Pfahl, Jeremy Lipking, Michael Klein's and MTLiepke Palette consist of at least one green and purple sometimes more. Viridian and sap/hooker/greengold and diox, cobalt pur are listed too.
I dont use purple, but I use sap like crazy. Never just out of the tube.
Fun Question thou!
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:09 PM
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Wink Re: never using green, what about purple

Well folks, I take a totally different view. I am not a landscape or a realist painter, but am an abstract surrealist. The importance of color is a major part of my work. The fact that the tube color may or may not occur in nature, is not an issue. But I agree with "Mythrill" (from 11/04/14) that "Color harmony is the most important feature of your painting."--except I would modify that by saying "color harmony" is one of the most important elements of my painting. When one uses any color, it must fit within your artwork--regardless of style, subject, content or level of experience. The main question is more about the colors' "rightness" for the place used and whether the use enhances and or improves the vision from a holistic perspective.
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