Friday, September 21, 2007

Hmmm, not sure how to combine the blogs. Maybe just switch over? Also, Paul F. has offered to host a forum for us, and help run it, for free. What do you think? It would need to be private to keep the bandwidth down, but we could use this blog to help people find us.


Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

The forum might be a better way to go as far as posting images and keeping topics / posts organized and easy to access via search.

painterdog said...

this is open I guess.

Paul F said...

I would say that the forum idea could be considered if people feel the blog format is limited. The big disadvantage with it being private is that the info wouldn't get out there, and I think we would all agree that there's a desparate need for good information to heard and not buried.

Lets run with this for a while.

painterdog said...

For those who are interested I just ordered the Munsell Neutral Value Scale, Glossy Finish 37 step gray scale. Value: 0.5/ to 9.5/, in quarter step intervals.

I feel this is the best way to get started with mixing accurate gray scales and as they are $55.00,($33.00 with the teaching discount) which is a good idea if you can't spring for the Big Book.

I have found that because of the matte finish in the student book the lower values are hard to hit.

Also I like the idea that they are in quarter step intervals.

painterdog said...

I forgot to add I bought the gray scales out of frustration with using the chips in the student book as I mentioned, one is size, the other being I have already dropped some of them into my paint, which ruins them. I was lucky as it was the back of the little buggers which have a gloss finish. Now if only they could have done this to the front.

Paul F said...

Heh, I have the same problem Jeff. I was always a mucky pup and I just can't keep my paint covered mitts of the chips. The neutrals are already covered in thumb prints, makes it a challenge to match the values.

Thinking this would probably happen, one of the first things I did was make some little dog tags out of MDF and match them to the chips. But either the paint has changed value slightly as it's cured, or my eyes are better now, because some of them now look ever so slightly off.

The glossy neutral scale sounds like a very good idea.

Today I've been painting some little orange peppers, so now my 5YR chips have thumb prints on them too. Bugger.

graydon said...

copy the gray scale on a piece of acetate. Turn it over and you can place mixtures directly on it, then wipe it off. This will save your chips. One can do the same with other hues. There is a slight difference, but not enough to worry, IMO.

marsha said...

I finally received my Big Book and have to encourage all those who don't have it to start saving now! It's hard to express how excited I am about this tool! I still get some fingerprints on the chips, but it's very easy to clean them. I find that putting a touch of the current mix directly on the chip is an enormous help - too dull/bright/too warm/cool/too dark/light/awful or just right! Just holding the chip down close to the paint on the palette or even on palette knife close to the chip isn't always accurate enough! I'm determined to become more organized (neat) so the fingerprint issue will all but disappear.

Also the chip holder that they provide at the back of the book is a huge help. After deciding which chips I'll need, I pull them, place in the empty chip holder page, prop it up on a small easel next to the palette and mix all those chips. When finished I return each chip to it's proper slot.

This is definetly high end color CANDY but each chip is stunning in it's own special clarity and uniqueness...a must have tool if you're a serious painter.

Just saw Graydon's comment's about the accetate...genius!

ElPolloMagico said...


Thanks for the acetate tip. I'm finding that the chips I'm using the most (5yr) are beginning to erdoe or get torn from constant use and wiping paint off them.


I found, too, that I had to place the paint on the chip as opposed to other methods in order to get an accurate mix.

marsha said...

Perhaps holding the chip inside two pieces of acetate taped together - then place the paint on top layer would keep the chips cleaner and still give an accurate reading? Would help with fingerprints, too!

marsha said...

Graydon, Are you hoping that we will all do exercises as they come up in your comments or will this be discussion and show/tell only?

Perhaps all the other participants have worked with you in person and already know about spheres/cubes etc., so perhaps this question was un-necessary. I would just like to know, from the beginning, what you hope to see/read in this blog, if you will be moderating only or teaching/critiquing as well?

Anneke said...

Did I mention that my books and the Value set got lost???
They managed to swim across the big dangerous seas in less than 3 days, late August, were picked up by some local dude and have since vanished into thin air. Somewhere around 50 kms away from me......
It will take some time to sort it all out and before new books can be ordered and send.
Must zip mounth again.....

MarieMeyer said...

Hi all, you must forgive me, as I am coming late to this party. I've been wondering for weeks what it is that you all DO with the Munsell books, but after reading Marsha's post I feel that I understand the back half of the process. What is the front half of the process - do you hold the chips up to your model to locate the the "target" color that you want to mix?

Gavin said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the admission to the blog guys.

I have ordered my glossy value scale from the Xrite UK office, and am looking forwad to moving onto value painting.

Paul F said...

Gavin - there's an Xrite UK office? The only one I managed to find was Xrite Europe. We could be talking about the same one, but just in case we're not, can you post the contact details for the Xrite UK office? Thanks.

RichardTScott said...

It seems like you're starting something similar to a collaborative blog that I take part in called Art Babel.
We talk about everything from oil painting techniques, aesthetics, philosophies of art, to even politics and art.
Maybe we can get a cross pollination of ideas going?

graydon said...

It is all about analysis. Marsha is doing fine just exploring the chips and their relationship to what she wants to paint.

This exercise is very important.

1. Make a color wheel: a circle of hues with a "spoke" for each hue drawn to a center point. Paint the back ground a 5th value neutral. The center of the color wheel represents neutral grey conceptually.

2. The outer perimeter should be all 10 and 5 hues. However, instead of making each hue the same value, make each one the highest chroma possible for that hue regardless of the value. If the hue you are mixing has two "highest chroma" chips, then choose the chip that best represents your idea of that color. For example, the idea of green for me is darker than yellow, so all things being equal, I would choose the darker high chroma green and the lighter high chroma yellow.

3. Here is where the analysis begins. You will have to figure out the paints which will give you the highest chromas. Some hues and impossible to mix at their highest chromas shown in the Munsell book. (I hope you will do better than I did)

These are the hues that will match almost all of them, but exploration is still needed:

Perelyne Red,
Napthol Red
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Lemon or Yellow Light
Pthalo Green Yellow Shade
Pthalo Blue
Manganese Blue genuine (this helps a bit on one chip: Thank you Neal)
Ultramarine Blue
Diox Purple
Manganese Purple
Quiacridone Rose.

Some colors need the addition of white to bring out their full chromas.

4. Once mixed and copied as accurately as humanly possible, paint the corresponding hue in its place on the color wheel. Write down on the back or on a separate sheet what paints where used in the mixture. Use Munsell's wheel as a guide. A quick google image search will give you an image and therefore a template for Munsell's wheel.

5. When finished you will have a ring of the highest chromas possible in paint. The inner circle will be your pigment/paint file. Where you place samples of the paints that you use: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Viridian etc.

6. Use your Munsell book to determine which hue each paint most closely resembles. For example, Yellow Ochre might be a 10YR 6/6 or perhaps in between a 10Yr and 2.5 Y. Once pinned down, paint a sample circle of the yellow ochre on or near the 10YR spoke on your color wheel but more toward the center. Place it closer to the center because it is more neutral.

7. Do this with all the paints you use often, or any that you are curious about. Again, compare them to Munsell and paint then in their proper location, toward or away from the neutral center according to their chroma.

8. After this is completed you will know how to mix any color that you see.

graydon said...

I use an 18 by 18 inch square of Masonite for my color wheel.

painterdog said...

Graydon, thank you for posting this.
I remember you had this at the color demo, I think it was 18 x 24 inches on Masonite.

I guess I'll have to do a little paint shopping. My reds are all Cads.

painterdog said...

I have a question about the paint.
I use Williamsburg and OH.

In searching out the color's you mention Graydon I notice that every company has it's own name for these colors, do have some you can recommend.

I think the OH's Scheveningen reds are Perelyne.

WB has Manganese Violet, Quinacridone Violet,
Quinacridone Red

WB's Fanchon Red is Napthol Red.

graydon said...

I find a lot of paints to be similar in chroma. I buy paints according to the pigment for the most part in brands that are well made. I use mainly Williamsburg. The paints sold at Natural Pigments are very interesting. They make fantastic earths.

PainterD. I replaced the cadmiums, and certainly cad red deep, because they loose chroma when mixed with white. The yellows are already so high in value that the Hansa replacements don't seem to make much difference. As for Cad Orange, I have found it to be sufficiently chromatic. One could use what is often called Mono orange.

Please post your findings if you come up with a better brand or a more chromatic paint.

MarieMeyer said...

Thanks Graydon! And very nice to meet you, albeit electronically. Have you got a strong opinion about which white?

marsha said...

Thank you very much Graydon!
This information helps so much and I know from experience that actually doing the exercises is where the true knowledge comes from. Winging it does not work!

I also would like solid info on large tubes of whites/blacks.Which whites (titanium/flake/zinc and brands)I've been using a lot of OH Zinc,for the mixtures,but seem to remember you mentioning WN titanium with zinc, but don't remember in what context. I'm at the point of needing to tube some of the chip mixtures and am loathe to waste more time and money on poor decisions.

My thought is that once I've hit an accurate chip mixture, that tubing and notations will save lots of time in the long run. What are your thoughts on this?

marsha said...

Also, black is not on your list of high chroma paints, of course, but when used for mixing neutrals, which is most usful for lower values - ivory black/slate black etc.?

Gavin said...

Paul - here it is

X-Rite Ltd
The Acumen Centre,
First Avenue,
SK12 1FJ
Tel: 01625 871100

Just give them a call.



marsha said...

Thinking through the production of the color wheel...if background (masonite) is painted v5, did you paint the various high chroma hues etc. directly onto the background or on a different surface and then attach to background?If different, which surface was used?

graydon said...

Marsha, the white to use isn't critical until the highest chroma blues and purples it seems. Try zinc and titanium there. Now, zinc might be a problem in the long run, but if chroma is important, then one might have to use it.

Anneke said...

Thank you for posting these excercises Graydon.
Interestingly, I started something simular, re the colour wheel, in May last year, using the Quiller Color Wheel. It was too limited and based on Piment numbers. That did not match my needs.
I had planned to do two proper wheels as soon as the books would arrive: one for oils and one for pastel, for exactly the reason you mentioned: ["8. After this is completed you will know how to mix any color that you see"]. And which tubes/sticks to use I may add.
Thank you.

Anneke said...

Graydon, One more question regarding brands:
Which would you use for the Perelyne Red,
Napthol Red and
Manganese Purple?
Thank you

graydon said...

I use Gamblin Perelyne Red and their Napthol. It is out of convenience, because they label them as such. But check the chromas of other brands.

ElPolloMagico said...

First: Thank you to Rich and Graydon for including me in this blog. I'm very excited and eager to get started.

Second: I'm really looking forward to getting to know everyone here. My name is John, btw.

Last: Thanks so much for the Color Wheel exercise. I'm hoping to start it tomorrow after a trip to the art store.

Rich or Graydon: Could the Color Wheel be done concurrently with the cube exercises? Or should it be done before? Rich had stated that along with the neutrals, one should also do high chroma cubes (& spheres). I assume then that perhaps the Color Wheel should be completed first?

Thanks again so much.

graydon said...

At the color course, I started by teaching how to mix color beginning with neutral gray.

To mix a Munsell neutral you take a black, most work---ivory, lamp, mars--burnt umber and white. I paint with lead and titanium.

First mix the black to the desired value. Then, in a separate place mix burnt umber to the same value. Now, in between them, place the black and white mixture. Into this add the burnt umber mixture a little at a time until you get a perfect neutral gray. If you go too far, take some of the reserve black and white and bring it back to neutral.

Follow this procedure for each value because different proportions of black, white and burnt umber are needed.

For each Munsell chip, first mix the right value, then the right hue, then adjust the chroma.

Anneke said...

When I did the colour charts I started indeed with the Values.
BUT I used the SP values...........
So, now at least I know why most looked so out of wack. And that was not because I needed glasses.
Needless to say, new charts will need to be made as well.
Thanks Graydon, I'll get some Gamblins and compare them to what I have here.

painterdog said...

All the SP gray scales are off and so are the printed scales.

I am using the Student Book and for extra added fun I ordered the set of 36 gray scales in quarter tones, which are glossy.

If people are interested in this they are $55.00

John said...


The quarter-tone gray scale is a beauty. I compared that to the SP....ouch.

Dave said...

Graydon, Richard - you really do need a forum, or a wiki, I think, to run this - trying to do it in a blog is going to get very unwieldy, its already starting to be tricky to find stuff, imagine what its going to be like with 20-fold the content.

Possibilities - if you get a website (with the ability to support php5 and MySQL5 and a licence for InvisionPowerBoard (same as we use to run A&A), I'd help you install it (but I'm not going to run/maintain it for you, I already spend more time doing this for A&A than I would like, though I'd be quite happy to advise a bit, if asked) - you do need the up-to-date version (but its not expensive), as older ones are too susceptible to hacking.

An alternative would be to run a wiki. Mediawiki is free, and again, I could set it up for you initially, if you have a domain and hosting supporting php5 and MySQL. (and its also possible to integrate an IPB forum and a wiki, as we have already set up at A&A)

There are free forum sites, such as Invisionfree, but the downside there is that you do not get a backup copy of the underlying database, and they want you to pay them to export it if you want to move servers.

I sent an email to Paul F suggesting he contact me to discuss, but I haven't heard from him yet.

I'd also suggest phoning/conferencing on skype as a way of discussing issues by actually talking to each other. It's possible to sort out a lot of online misunderstandings by doing this, I've found.

Anneke said...

I am about to ask a big favour. AS you know my Munsell Books and Value Set are stil missing and it will take some time before I will finally have them.
I am pretty keen on doing the colour wheel but without the chips it's near impossible. I have come up with an idea though: If I would have the accurate Notitaions of the hues (10 and 5) at their highest chroma I may beable to get the chips(ie colour samples) from one of the local paint stores. Maybe...?!
So my favour is: Would anyone be willing to wirte me a list with the Notations??? Please?
I would hug you for it if you were here.

Anneke said...

Sorry about the typo's.
Blame it on shaking hands.
But really I should have checked more carefully.