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Old 04-03-2003, 03:53 PM
SharonLee SharonLee is offline
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Question magenta+yellow=red


I understand that it is possible to mix magenta and yellow to make a red. I have purchased Winsor and Newton - Magenta. I have used evey yellow I own. I have looked at many sights and found that this is possible. I understand that Terry Redlin uses this combination to make his reds. Could any one out there help me? This has become a mission. Sorry if this is a duplicate I'm not sure yet how to use this sight.
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:44 PM
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Sharon, welcome to Wetcanvas!

Check the pigment(s) used in that paint. If it's a single pigment (PV 19 or PR 122) then it should be decent for mixing reds. If it has another pigment added like PB 15 or PV 23, it'll mix slightly less clean reds.

Whichever magenta and yellow you use, the mixed reds won't be as brilliant as a high-chroma, single-pigment red like pyrrole red, but it might be good enough.
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:06 AM
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I just had a look on the handprint website, and they list two W&N magenta paints that I could see, both single pigment.

The first is quinacridone magenta (W&N 229) which is pigment PR122. The other is permanent magenta (W&N 073) which is PV19. As Patrick said, either of those should give reasonably clean reds when mixed with a yellow (assuming, of course, that the yellow is also a single pigment). To get a really strong red you probably want to go for a suitable single pigment red, but you should be able to get some pretty good reds out of magenta and a decent yellow (one of the more orange shades of yellow, like perhaps cadmium yellow, would do better than a green shade like lemon yellow, I expect).

Keep experimenting and let us know how you get on.
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Old 04-16-2003, 05:42 AM
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I think it is possible, as magenta is primary and if you add a yellow, better if primary too, gives the intermediate colors between the two. i.e. reds I often do this, I don't like too much too vivid reds and these are very transparent too.

ciao, rapolina.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:48 AM
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Primary yellow is a very light, bright yellow, like hansa yellow or lemon yellow. If you mix that with a good magenta paint like quinacridone magenta, you should have no problem getting a proper red hue. I don't like the idea of a so-called "green shade" yellow. That would mean it has some cyan in it. A pure primary yellow would just be yellow when you look at it through a prism, whereas a greenish yellow would split into yellow and cyan. You can paint a line of color on a white background and look it at through a prism to see how pure of a yellow, cyan, or magenta it is. If it's pure, you'll only see one color. Otherwise, it'll split into 2 or 3 colors. I went and bought a prism at a scientific supply store.
Another thing, if you have the correct 3 primary color paints, it's a waste of money to buy dioxazine purple and cadmium orange. You can mix pretty much the same color with the primaries. The only drawback to the 3 primary color theory is that they can't make paints which absolutely perfectly match the primary colors. But they make them close enough to get pretty good results. The reason there are 3 primary colors is that the cells in your eyes only see cyan, magenta, and yellow and combine them in your brain to make the full range of colors.
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Old 04-20-2003, 12:14 AM
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As an ex-teacher of color theory, it certainly is gratifying to see artists discussing colors based upon the true primary colors of pigments (cyan, magenta, and yellow). Good for you all!

You need to always remember that convenience colors such as earth colors are always handy, and are meant to be used. But, if you are familiar with the true primaries of pigment, you can never be confused or tripped up by what is happening when colors behave as they do.

CoolAritste, as you say, they can't make true primary colors out of pigments, because they are never as pure as light, and with that level of understanding it is easy to realize just why some artists believe that the theory of color doesn't work as applied to artists' pigments. Well, as you obviously understand, it's not the theory which is flawed.....only the pigments with which we work!

A BIG thumbs-up to you all for offering some sound scientific color advice.

Bill
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Old 04-20-2003, 11:10 AM
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Remember that a 'true' primary cyan, magenta, or yellow paint is not one which is the 'purest' (reflects the narrowest spectrum of light).

If you had a yellow paint that reflects only yellow light wavelenghts, one might think that this is the purest, most intense, and 'best' primary yellow paint possible. This is not the case. It would actually be dark, and would probably not even look like yellow because it's dark. Same goes with magenta and cyan.

The, 'truest', most intense primary yellow paint possible reflects as much red, orange, yellow, and green light as possible, and everything in between (this is why yellow is so bright!), while not reflecting blue light.

The 'truest', most intense primary magenta possible reflects the most possible red and blue light, and no green light.

And the truest, most intense cyan paint possible reflects the most blue and green light possible (and everything in between), without reflecting any red light.

So it's not 'purity' that makes a paint a primary.
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:09 AM
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Domer, Bill and all, don't you think this would make for a fabulous all-media project? If I set one up, would any of you participate? There would be so much learned by a project where participants use the CYM combination to produce a painting....or more than one. The watercolor forum recently had one where participants could choose any 3 colors....but didn't have to be CYM, and had to be watercolor.

Jamie
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:36 AM
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Jamie, yup that would be a good idea. Just to see what can be done with a CMY or RYB (or whatever else) triad. I often find that having just 3 colours (properly chosen for that particular painting) can provide more than enough chroma across the colour range. It's something I'd like to experiment with more.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Domer
[B



So it's not 'purity' that makes a paint a primary. [/b]

Domer,

You used sort of a 'round-about way of getting to this idea, but this statement is absolutely true! "Hue" (the identification of a color, or where it plots around a color wheel), and "Chroma, or Purity" (the farther away it is from neutral gray) are two different dimensions of a given color.

Bill
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:42 PM
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Bill and Domer,

Would you two like to recommend specific 3-color combinations for the CMY project? (Plus white....?) Also, any reference links you know of that I could add for it. I'll use the WN info that you posted, Domer. (At least, I think it was you! Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Jamie
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:18 PM
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Hi Bill, I was mainly commenting on CoolArtiste's comment that "a pure primary yellow would just be yellow when you look at it through a prism...".

You're right that pigments can't be as pure as light if you mean spectral purity, or narrowness of spectrum. A monospectral laser is the purest light physically possible; it's light of a single wavelength. As we know, no pigments can do that.

If you're talking about what makes the best primary pigment, it's more accurate to talk in terms of how close the pigment is from the ideal reflectance curves. Yes; available pigments are far from perfect in this respect, especially magenta and cyan if I'm not mistaken:

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color14.html#patterns

That Handprint site is a gold mine of information, but the only problem is that it has so much information it's difficult to sort through it all. Most other color theory sites cover nothing more than the absolute basics, like "The subtractive primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow..." or even worse, many (maybe even the majority) still say red yellow and blue even though it's been well known for decades that red and blue are not subtractive primaries.

I'm curious what pigments are used in CMY or CMYK printing; phthalo cyan (PB 17)? pyrrole rubine or quin. magenta (PR 122)? and which yellow? If you know I'd like to know out of curiosity. Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Domer
I'm curious what pigments are used in CMY or CMYK printing; phthalo cyan (PB 17)? pyrrole rubine or quin. magenta (PR 122)? and which yellow? If you know I'd like to know out of curiosity. Thanks.

Me too! Ideally, those are the pigments I'd like to specify for the three pigments of the CMY project. Anybody know the answer?

Jamie
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:49 PM
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Hi Jamie, if you want to keep with a CMY triad, or something close to that, there are certainly some different pigment combinations to do that. (The thread started by sp71 about winsor blue RS vs. GS touches on that a tiny bit).

But since most people probably don't have a true cyan (like phthalo cyan...which is not very common) or quinacridone magenta, it would probably be better to avoid asking for the use of 3 specific pigments.

Maybe you could ask for the use of whichever 3 pigments you have available that come closest to CMY? Phthalo blue GS is a good cyan substitute. Quinacridone violet or quin. rose could be used instead of quin. magenta. There are several yellows which could make good primaries. The choice of one colour in a triad will often affect the choice of the other two.

For more info on the choice of a primary triad:

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/paletfs.html

Click on Primary Triad on the left side.
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Domer
Hi Bill, I was mainly commenting on CoolArtiste's comment that "a pure primary yellow would just be yellow when you look at it through a prism...".

You're right that pigments can't be as pure as light if you mean spectral purity, or narrowness of spectrum. A monospectral laser is the purest light physically possible; it's light of a single wavelength. As we know, no pigments can do that.

If you're talking about what makes the best primary pigment, it's more accurate to talk in terms of how close the pigment is from the ideal reflectance curves. Yes; available pigments are far from perfect in this respect, especially magenta and cyan if I'm not mistaken:

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color14.html#patterns

That Handprint site is a gold mine of information, but the only problem is that it has so much information it's difficult to sort through it all. Most other color theory sites cover nothing more than the absolute basics, like "The subtractive primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow..." or even worse,
many (maybe even the majority) still say red yellow and blue even though it's been well known for decades that red and blue are not subtractive primaries.

I'm curious what pigments are used in CMY or CMYK printing; phthalo cyan (PB 17)? pyrrole rubine or quin. magenta (PR 122)? and which yellow? If you know I'd like to know out of curiosity. Thanks.

Domer,

You and I seem to be in pretty close agreement regarding most aspects of color theory. In printing inks, it's the densitometric measurement which provides our plot on a color wheel, both in terms of hue (or hue "error", as we are prone to call it), and grayness. Our cyans typically run with a hue error of about 20% toward red, and magentas with about a 40-50% hue error toward red. Cyans are pretty stable in what gets furnished to us, but magentas can be termed "rubine", which contains a lot of impurity toward yellow, or "rhodamine", which indicates a magenta with more blue reflectance, as a true magenta should be. I once saw a magenta ink with a hue error of 20% (toward yellow), but that's not the typical magenta ink used in the printing trade. I wish it were! You are correct in saying that yellow is our cleanest pigment color (not much hue error or grayness).

The terms of printing inks are not compatible with artists' pigment terms. For example we term a yellow with an orangey cast a "chrome yellow", where in my oil or watercolor paints, I would term it a "cadmium light" or "cadmium deep" color. You are absolutely correct regarding spectral yellow being a "dark" color. A Kodak #90 filter is a spectral yellow filter. Check one out sometime to see how "spectral yellow" really appears.

Most of what the human eye views as "yellow" is actually equal reflectance of red and green light, and not spectral yellow at all (only about 7%). Most of what we view as cyan is equal reflectance of blue and green light, and very little spectral cyan. What we view as the color, magenta, represents equal reflectance of red and blue light, and, since those two colors are at opposite ends of the natural spectrum, is not present in the spectrum at all. Many artists argue this point (that the color magenta is not present in the spectrum), but very few color theorists argue it. The color,magenta, exists in pigments, in inks, in dyes, in color wheels and color models--just not in the natural spectrum. Hard for some folks to comprehend. Why doesn't it exist in the spectrum? Because the two color wavelengths which produce it aren't side by side in the spectrum.

Bill
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