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Old 03-14-2005, 09:21 PM
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BKWYRM BKWYRM is offline
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Color Collaboration 1: It's Up to Hue!

Here's the weekly thread on Color Explorations that we talked about starting. Anybody got a better name? I think we can change it after the fact, but if not, we'll simply start next week's thread with the new name.

“There are five basic elements of design: line, shape, space, texture and color. Of these elements, color is the most emotional” Stephen Quiller, Painter’s Guide to Colour

Color is a sensation. Color does not exist outside your brain. Yes, objects have color, but the colors I perceive are not the colors you perceive. In fact, the colors I perceive are not the same as the colors that I perceived 20 years ago. As we age, our ability to tell colors apart will change, as will the colors we actually see. So the capturing of color and creating it on paper is a huge challenge! I hope that these threads will spark lots of ongoing exploration and conversation in the various ways we experience the sensation of color in our journey as artists.

I’m eager to get right to mixing color, so I won’t go into the history of color theory a whole lot. If we want to discuss color theory more in-depth, join in here and talk about what areas you’d like to explore.

Please check out your bookshelves. We’ll build a separate thread with valuable reference materials, which we can archive to the Colored Pencil Hall of Fame when it’s complete. My guide for color exploration is Betty Edwards’ Color: A Course in Mastering The Art of Mixing Colors.

And in order to help us think about color, we’ll also be using that thread to collect some quotations about color – so start collecting your quotations now!

“All colours are the friends of the neighbors and the lovers of their oppositives”
Mark Chagall

We have a thread in the Hall of Fame called “Color Theory 101”. Please take some time to read it and to see all the hard work that everyone did creating their color wheels. Here’s a link to WetCanvas’ online Art School on Color Theory:

Online ArtSchool Color Theory



As we hike through our colorful landscape, we need to have a common vocabulary in order to share our experiences. So let’s define the terms we’ll be using frequently:

Colour wheel – the various shades of the rainbow used to be presented as a linear progression. Sir Isaac Newton first arranged them in a circle, or wheel, giving rise to the eventual term ‘colour wheel’.


Hue, value and intensity are the attributes of color that we need to understand in order to talk meaningfully about them.

Hue: particular gradation of color;

Value or tone: the relative darkness or lightness of a color; we can look at the range of values in a work when we look at the greyscale version.

Shade: A gradation of a color made by adding black to it
Tint: A gradation of a color made by adding white to it

Pigment: a solid coloured material ground into tiny particles and dispersed in the medium which, in the case of coloured pencils is oil or wax and clay (?) Some pigments are derived from natural materials while others are created chemically in laboratories.

Permanence: the degree to which a colour is lightfast – meaning it won’t fade in natural light. The opposite of permanent or lightfast is ‘fugitive’ – these are colours that can fade away.

Intensity or Saturation or Chroma: The strength or brilliance of a color, especially the degree to which it lacks its complementary color; Vividness of hue; degree of difference from a gray of the same lightness or brightness. The intensity can be devalued by mixing with black or white.

Grayscale: a graduated scale from white to black, “the use of many shades of gray to represent an image”, “representing black up to…. white with intermediate values
representing increasingly light shades of grey” (suggest you move this up so that it comes after value – or maybe move value/tone down so it comes after intensity)




Color is all about relationships. They affect each other and can influence how the viewer perceives them. Most of the time, we are seeking colors that are harmonious and that work together without discord. If we seek a discordant color, we do it for a particular reason. Therefore, it’s important to understand first, how colors work together, and second, how to obtain the color we desire in our chosen medium. In this case, our medium is colored pencil. The challenge to colored pencil is that, except for black, it is a translucent medium. Most color books and tools are designed for opaque media.

Spectrum color: Primaries, sometimes called “spectrum red, spectrum blue, or spectrum yellow”, are the colors we are most used to thinking of as being building blocks of the rainbow.

Secondaries are theoretically created by mixing primaries on the color wheel. They are orange, violet and green.

Tertiaries combine primary and secondary hues. Tertiaries are yellow-orange, red-violet, blue-green.

Analagous hue: This simply means closely related - hues (colors) which are adjacent to each other on a color wheel, e.g. crimson, purple, dark blue

Complementary hue: hues (colors) which are opposite each other on a color wheel, e.g. red and green. Complementary colors can cancel one another out and produce colourful greys.

So yellow and orange are analogous hues. Yellow and violet are complementary hues. Yellow is a primary hue, while violet is a secondary hue. If you mix together two complements, you will have mixed together (in theory) all three primary hues. We use the word “complement” in the sense of “completion”—these two colors complete each other and theoretically make black when mixed together.

Below is the color wheel from the online art school link here at WetCanvas. Note that the primaries: yellow, blue, and red lie at the points of a triangle.

The secondaries, green, violet and orange do as well.

Tertiaries, too!


These relationships are part of why the color wheel is so very useful to artists and stressed as an important learning tool. If you take the time to build a simple 12 step color wheel, you will find it of great help in choosing just the right colored pencils when you go to mix a difficult shade.
This link will take you to Sanford’s site where the color wheels build from only primaries to primaries, secondaries, and tertiaries. (Sanford makes the Prismacolor pencils.) Check it out!

Sanford's color wheel
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Last edited by BKWYRM : 03-14-2005 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 03-14-2005, 09:28 PM
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BKWYRM BKWYRM is offline
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

The work we will be doing is also called “subtractive color theory” because we are subtracting wavelengths. In theory, if we piled on all the pigments, we would end up with black, which is the subtraction of light.

Subtractive color theory is used for printing as well; however, the pigments they use are yellow, cyan, magenta, and black (CYMK) to create all the printed materials in the world!

Let’s do a little playing with the Virtual Color Palette, okay?

First, let’s build the printing primaries: yellow, cyan and magenta, and then mix them together.

Second, let’s build the regular primaries: yellow, red, and blue and then mix them together.

Let’s do them with the Virtual color palette and then with our pencils. Sound okay?

EXERCISE:For Prismacolor colored pencils, you can use Canary Yellow, Process Red and True Blue to mimic the printing primaries. Can anyone help who uses a different brand? Please post them here.

Regular primaries – let’s go to our colored pencils and come up with what we feel are those three colors. Please keep track of the pencils you use in each swatch, so you can share your “formula”. When should we do “Show and Tell”?

WetCanvas Virtual Palette:
Access the WCVP, by going to the “Tools” dropdown list at the top of the screen. Choose “Virtual Palette” from the dropdown choices. Then, under the “Color Tools” frame on the left, click on “Load Virtual Palette”.

We’re going to define 5 custom colors—the printing primaries of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, then the more familiar primaries of yellow, red, and blue. The printing color of yellow and the familiar primary yellow remain the same, so we only have to define 5 colors.

Go to the second line and after “Define Custom Color”, enter “CMYK Yellow” in the box. Leave “Tinting Strength” at “Normal” in all definitions. Go to the next line.
In “c:” put 0.0. In “m:” put 0.0. In “y:” put 1.0. In “k:” put .0. The decimal points matter.

Make sense? This translates into these proportions: cyan 0%, magenta 0%, yellow 100%, black 0%. Now press the button that says “Save Custom Color.”

Move down to the “Mixing Area”, click on the drop down box next to “Base Color”. Go all the way to the very end. You should see a list of YOUR custom colors! How cool is that?

Repeat the process for cyan and magenta. Here are the formulae:
Cyan: c:=1.0, m:=0.0, y=0.0, k=0.0
Magenta: c:=0.0, m=1.0, y=0.0, k=0.0

Check your color by going to the “Mixing Area” and choosing “CMYK Cyan” from the list of custom colors. Press the “Process Mixture” button and check out the color at the bottom in the “Results of Mixing Operation” area. Do the same for each of your two other printing primaries.

Now, start to mix them together. Choose your “base color”, then “mix with” one of the other two printing primaries. Don’t forget to tell the Virtual Palette how much color you want to add.

Check out the results! You’ll also see those colors mixed with black and white at the bottom of your screen.

Ready for the “subtractive primaries”? Here are your formulas:
Yellow: c=0.0, m=0.0, y=1.0, k=0.0 You already have this one all set up.
Red: c=0.0, m=1.0, y=1.0, k=0.0
Blue: c=1.0 m=1.0, y=0.0, k=0.0

Mix them together for some real fun! If you’re feeling really frisky, click on the “Show Complements” button on the right hand side.

Below is a screen shot of the cyan that I was able to mix--what a cool tool!

Okay, your assignment, if you want to do it, is to recreate these colors with your pencils. Either print out your colors from the WCVP, or refer to the colors you have mixed on your screen as a guide.

I highly recommend doing your exercises on the same quality paper that you use for your artwork. If you pause to think about it a moment, it will make sense. Cheap paper simply doesn’t grip your color the same way as your artist grade materials. Make tiny swatches and blow them up in your photo-editing software. Get ready to share!

I'll post my homework after this.

Future topics (if you want to):
Matching secondary colors to your colored pencils
Drawing a “value wheel” with only black & white
Colorful grays/browns with complements
Intense vs. dull wheel—create using a complement
Pick a color and do the following:
identify the complement,
same hue&intensity/opposite value,
same hue&value/opposite intensity,
Emotional content of color
Do you have a color signature

Please feel free to suggest areas you'd like to explore--let's have some fun!
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Last edited by BKWYRM : 03-14-2005 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 03-14-2005, 09:38 PM
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BKWYRM BKWYRM is offline
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Okay, here's my homework! I took a smooth-sided coin (an American nickel, a British pound coin) and traced 3 circles around it. The circles intersect in the middle.

I outlined the circles with black ink so that I would be able to see them when they were colored.

The first set of circles I filled with Prismacolor Lemon Yellow, True Blue, and Process Red.

The second set of circles I filled with the following Prismacolor pencils:

yellow - Canary Yellow, Lemon Yellow
red - Crimson Red, Scarlet Lake
blue - Indigo Blue, Black Grape, Black Cherry

My reference for the target colors was Betty Edwards book on Color.

While the source colors are really neat (it takes a lot of different pencils!), it's the intersections that get really interesting. The thing that amazed me the most was how the color was affected by the order in which I put down the colors--a phenomenon unique to colored pencils.

I hope you have fun, and I look forward to seeing your homework, plus your ideas on where you want to go from here.

PS If anyone wants the first two posts as a Word doc for printing, just send me a PM.
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Last edited by BKWYRM : 03-14-2005 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:27 AM
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Katherine T Katherine T is offline
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Great start Kathy

I think I might try my mixes with colours from a different range - just to see what happens.

A discussion started in my thread on Venice about how colours in different ranges compared. This is what I wrote and I think this is perhaps the more appropriate thread for the discussion to continue

Especially as I can't get the Prisma "black cherry" in the UK!
__________________________________________________ __________________________

I've never seen a thread listing all the comparable colours from the various major brands - maybe because we have so many devotees to Prisma/Karisma?

I'd love to see a thread (a product?) which maybe took the Prisma/Karisma colours as the baseline and then indicated the comparable colours in (say)

* Faber Castell Polychromos
* Lyra Rembrandt
* Caran d'ache Pebeo
* Derwent (Artists or Signature or both?)

It's fascinating the way that certain makes seem to focus on different base colours. I was matching my polychromos up against a listing of their range at the weekend and was fascinated to see how many variations on mid/dark green I had in my hand. So we need to remember that such list will also work the other way round and show up all the gaps in the Prismacolor/Karisma range.

And then people who tend to work with certain colours ranges only can see more clearly what options they have

Maybe we could produce the list (in words) through working our way through comparisons.

Ideally, what I'd love to see is a scanned colour chart at the end, but, by implication, that would mean one person will have to have complete sets of all the pencils...........

Or maybe people could take on investigating different colours eg the reds or the greens.........?

Katherine
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:14 AM
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Katherine T Katherine T is offline
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

From the Venice thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucio
Excellent Idea Katherine !
I work with almost the same colors of brands like Polychromos, Pablo from Caran D´ache and Stabilo and I can see differences among them. For example the Polychromo´s Van dike brown looks like it has more pigment than the Pablo´s Van dike brown and looks a little more "yellow" too. I will scan the
same colors from these brands and I will wait for that thread.
Lucio
P.s You can call me what you want : Lucio, Luc, Lu... I don´t mind .
But please! Lucy no Ok? ( they called me Lucy once in the chat of Cafe Guerbois )
Lucio
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:16 AM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

It was suggested in another thread that we remember to provide links to references on other makes/brands of pencil.

Here are links to some threads in the Hall of Fame about the various brands of pencil. If you want more info and specific recommendations about pencils, check out this section in the Hall of Fame: Colored Pencil Brands, Color Charts & Comparisons

Here are some specific threads comparing colors across brand types:

Thread listing Prismacolors - includes color swatches!

Derwent - Prismacolor Equivalents

Faber Castell Polychromos Swatch Chart

Prismacolor Art Stix Swatches


So we've got some swatch references for Prismacolor and Polychromos. Anyone up for doing swatches for Lyra and Derwents?
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 05-23-2008 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:56 AM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Another great thread, I will find this so useful.
You could say I work by trial and error, I know the basics but I usually pick a handful of pencils round about the colour I'm trying to achieve and play about with them until I get the right colour.
I have various lists of comparable colours, mainly animal fur colours (not in a printable form) so anyone wanting to know the equivalent to Prismacolour in Derwent, Polychromos, Caran d'Ache (mine are watercolour) or Lyra just ask.
Katherine if you want a Black Cherry just pm me.

Gayle
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:44 AM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

If you don't have a book in your library with a color wheel, check out Don Jusko's site for some more interesting reading.

Don Jusko's "Real Color Wheel"
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:07 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Our very own "Bearded Bob" did tons of hard work last summer. Read his thread on Color Theory and see his color wheels and sample mixes here.

Check out Handprint.com for more in-depth discussion of color theory and color wheels.

For a handy glossary of technical terms, check out this link: Glossary. Make sure you check out the "Color Circle" info.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:26 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

WOW, Kathy! I admire your energy and dedication, but it won't be easy to keep up with you... *puff... puff... puff*

Thank you!!!
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:02 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Yes, Kathy, this is awesome!!!! No wonder you need a vaca.

I will be a good girl and do my homework tomorrow.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:25 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

I've started with the Virtual Palette exercise (always wanted to know how that thing works!) - and although the decimal points matter it seems we don't need one after the number

Thus you've got 0.0. and it accepts 0.0 (and doesn't like 0.0.)

I'm getting some really wierd colour outcomes from combining the yellow, cyan and magenta. Not wrong so much as never tried before by me!!!

I like the fact that you can vary how much is on your 'brush' from a little dab to an overwhelming pile!

Right, I now need to go and do the subtractive exercise - and then sort out my pencils for tomorrow - but I might have to leave that til tomorrow if I'm to be in bed before midnight!

[Later] And I've done it - isn't that wierd. You can know something and it still feels surprising.

I also really liked the way you get the can get the complementary colours (and tint / shade mixes)of any of the named or 'your own' colours.

So - tomorrow night it's on to the pencils.

Katherine
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:37 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Katherine, you've bumped up against one of the limitations of the written word!

The formulas should only have one decimal point (.), but I was trying to present it in an easy-to-read format. So here they are tweaked:

CMYK Yellow c=0.0 m=0.0. y=1.0 k=0.0
CMYK Cyan: c=1.0 m=0.0 y=0.0 k=0.0
CMYK Magenta: c=0.0 m=1.0 y=0.0 k=0.0

Red: c=0.0 m=1.0 y=1.0 k=0.0
Blue: c=1.0 m=1.0 y=0.0 k=0.0

I didn't like my blue. I like it better with 50% black.

It was very exciting to see the complementaries, and the tints/shades.

DISCLAIMER: Please post any mistakes immediately. Any mistakes are 100% mine and I take full credit for them!

Gayle, watch out! You'll be very popular with the folks who are NOT Prisma fans!

Frida, Gayle, Robin, I am glad you are here! This will be fun!
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:34 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

In the first one I used prismacolor 916 Yellow, True Blue and 923 Red.
Second one I used Orange, Parma Violet and True Green.

I didn't have the colors Kathy suggested so I went with a similar set in the first grouping. I wanted to try secondary colors in the second grouping because I had no idea what to expect and I was surprised at the results. I color corrected in Photoshop to match as best I could but the orange and the yellow were hard to match.
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:43 PM
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Re: Color Collaboration! Week of March 14th

Okay, I don't know what I was smoking last night, but I totally messed up the spectrum colors circles.

I did them again - here they are.

Yellow - Canary Yellow
Red - Mahogany, Magenta, Crimson Red
Blue - Copenhagan Blue
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