Sunday, September 23, 2007

Munsell Notations for Objects

This would be a great place to analyze the Munsell notations of things found in nature or anything else, really.

For example, average caucasian flesh is 5 YR 6/3. The range of flesh is between 10YR and 5 R; the latter includes the ruddy area. Values for flesh locals can be from 3 to 7. But 7 is really pales and 3 is quite dark. Chromas range between 2 and, rarely 6. Most ruddies are around 4-5.


John said...

Hmmmm...I'm wondering how these older posts are going to get read. I guess we'll have to just hope that everyone scrolls through them all.

Anyhow, I've been prepping my color wheel and my spheres are going to arrive this week which left me really antsy to start working with the Munsell book. I decided to sit up a simple still life consisting of three green apples and one lemon under a single (artificial) light source.


To test myself, I first mixed my colors by "eye" and then I used the Munsell book. Boy, was I off!

The local value of the light side for each apple from left to right was:

2.5GY 8/8
I used Chromium Oxide Green, Cad. Yellow Light, and Titanium White

5GY 8/8
Chromium Oxide Green, Cad. Yellow Light, Cerulean Blue, and Titanium White

2.5GY 7/8
Chromium Oxide Green, Cad. Yellow Light, and Titanium White

The Lemon was:

2.5Y 8/10

Admittedly, I could not determine the shadow sides with the chips. For some reason I just could not see it. I realize that it's probably going to take a year or two to understand this system, but I am really excited. It took me 25 minutes to mix the colors and the painting just fell into place after that. I'll post it tomorrow when I can get a better pick. It's nothing to write home about, but I sure learned a lot about color in just this one evening. It really is getting me pumped to do the other exercises.

I am also confused in how you determine all the other colors that you see. I can find the local, but I had to do some mixing by "eye" to get any form and I could not determine the core shadow to save my life. Lots of work, but I'm ready!

Oh, the best thing is the accuracy! Also, if you need to describe the color you don't have to use the usual, "uh, a little viridian, a touch of on." It's a simple 2.5GY 8/8. Too cool.

Scott said...

Hey John!

Don't worry. We will all scroll back and read the older posts and follow along with your progress. Can't wait to see the photo of your painting. I agree, this does get you pumped.

Found the book that PainterDog talked about in another thread. It's Mastering the Craft of Painting (Hardcover)
by Angelo John Crado (Author).

Also found a book on color mixing, Color Atlas (Art) by Kuppers, Harald. In the Spanish version, the price was 38 dollars and mine in English was only 5. They looked like the same book; hope I'm not missing anything with the English version.

marsha said...

Yea! So glad others are as excited as I am, John! I tried to find your page at photobucket, but no luck. I cut and pasted your notation for the photo...maybe I did it wrong? Hope you'll post the painting 'live' - here.

In order to do that I think you have to start a new post on the main page (see top right hand corner where you log in. That takes you to the dashboard and a new composing window opens up...well you probably already know this...I didn't - had to ask.)

However, that would take us away from this older section. I guess that's one of the drawbacks to a blog. I don't mind going back and scrolling, but I'd sure like to see images too.

marsha said...

John, when looking for the shadow side colors, did you consider staying in the same family of hue/chroma but lowering the value? I'm not saying this is fact I hope Graydon is scrolling with us and can set us straight when we vere off course.

I just wonder if you considered it and found it lacking or what?

John said...


Thanks. I recently got the Grado book as well. It's a great read. Could you let me know what you think of the Color Atlas book? Sounds interesting.

John said...


The link worked for me. Just leave out the [IMG] and it should be fine. Maybe I will start a new post. Thanks for the advice.

Yeah, I tried to stay in the same family, lowering value and chroma, but I still couldn't see it. For some reason I see more going on in the shadow side than in the light side which makes it difficult for me to simplify. Which made it near impossible for me to find the core shadow. I'll just have to keep doing it!

I just got the last of my supplies needed for my color wheel and my wooden spheres just arrived in the mail! It's going to be a busy weekend, but I am pumped! I'm really enjoying watching your progress. It's highly motivating!