Friday, October 19, 2007

Homework from Graydon

So here is my mix of 5YR 6/4 from Beth's (Liberace's) palette. I used Cad red lt., Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Cad yellow, Alizarin Crimson, and flake white. It was a beast to control and took a long time to come around.

Also, the other picture is from some color charts I did a couple of summers ago, but have proven to be worth their weight in gold. It is similar to the pigment file color charts that Graydon has us all doing, but it is a step further in one direction. Namely, what happens when you change values with a certain pigment. Hue shifts and chroma shifts become very apparent. The nice thing about having this is that I can take any chip from the munsell big book and look through my list of pigments at that chroma and find what comes the closest at that value.

The other day when I was mixing up a high chroma string of 5PB I was shocked by what pigments I was using to achieve the string. At value 9 I used ultramarine and Diox. and white. By value 7 I was using straight cobalt blue and white, by value 4 I was using nothing but pthalo and white, near value 2 it started to go toward Pthalo Blue Green. Really weird but cool. If I had decided that this string was going to be hit by Pthalo or Cobalt, I would have missed it by a long way on several values. It was really nice to have that reference to fall upon when I was trying to mix to find out what a certain pigment does exactly at a certain value. To anyone who doesn't want to be ignorant of what exactly each pigment in their drawer does at a certain value I highly suggest this exercise. It took me a little over 2 months to complete, and that was working everyonce in awhile for a little over 200 paints. Also of great interest is the differences between blacks. As Graydon points out their is do difference between a "Chromatic Black" i.e. one mixed with several pigments and one that is made from one source if that source tends to the same direction as the chromatic black once mixed with white.


nystudios said...

That is supposed to read "No" difference.

And though the picture may look off, I checked the paint on the chip in 4 different lighting situations.

linesend said...

Thanks for using a chip also in the student book - (seems I need to calibrate my monitor, lol). Looked like a bit of work to get it from the colors used! I will say I loved Rob L as a drawing teacher, have seen his palette used nicely but not by me!

"...high chroma string of 5PB ..... value 9 I used ultramarine and Diox. and white. By value 7 ...straight cobalt blue and white, by value 4 I....nothing but pthalo and white, near value 2 it started to go toward Pthalo Blue Green..."

This was interesting because looking at those chips, I'd have gone first to cobalt. Never have liked the pthalos but guess will now have a use for them in these exercises! Do you keep a notebook of paints used to hit a color, or notations on your chips? I would think there could be several ways to reach a specific color. Anyway, thanks Neal, this will be a fun think to be rattling around my brain today while painting.

graydon said...

The high chromas require very precise mixtures. The middle and low chromas, can be hit with many pigments. However, here one can be direct or indirect, as Neal demonstrated. The disadvantage of Liberace's palette is that it isn't direct. It is much easier to hit flesh with earth colors because they are lower in chroma to begin with. Linesend, this is an important point. There has to be another reason as to why one would work less effeciently.

At the higher ranges of chroma, Liberace's palette is only somewhat effective because it cannot hit some hues. The two most difficult areas to maintain chroma are at the high and low values, 9,8 and 2. These require special pigments. Also, like its been stated many times, the very highest chroma for each hue can require a specific white and a certain single or pair of pigments.

painterdog said...

I'm looking at that 5YR 6/4 and I have to say why would you mix that with those colors?

I use a full spectrum palette, I will soon be leaving this behind as I get Munsell under my belt.

But I still have earth colors on the palette. I would never have mixed it like this.

You could of just used Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and flake white. Interesting thing is that that was already in the mix.

What kind of board is that?

Is there a reason why you leave it white as opposed to using a gray value?

Linda Tracey Brandon said...

Hi Neal and Graydon (and Rich),
I just got the student book last week and there is a ton of useful information in there regardless of what kind of palette you're working with. (I've been happy with a modified Whitaker palette for the past few years, by the way.) Thanks everybody for all this information you're so generously sharing.

I think any artist that puts paint out on a handheld palette and walks around with it has got to edit their paint choices, so you need a palette that can hit a high chroma range if necessary and also turns the form, assuming that you're a form painter and that you're turning the form with values.

I'm a big fan of Liberace - I've seen him demo and heard him talk about painting a few times so I can't say I really know his technique or his goals. But I get the impression he is after a different goal than accuracy, Graydon. I think he's trying to depict life. Depicting life is a goal that includes accuracy but is different than accuracy because it also includes movement.

Anyway, I need a day or two to catch up with Neal on the exercises. (That was a joke. Hi Neal.:))

Kent M said...

Neal, you seem to be saying that you hit 5PB 4/(high) with just pthalo and white.

Wouldn't that be the same mix on your blue chart? That doesn't look like 5PB, or am I missing something?

ewschott said...

I have to post my full reply as a new topic so I can show the image.

Neal, I am sorry to hear you spent so much time on the 5 YR 6/4 - I told Graydon I would do it, yet I am sure he felt it would be better for me to see an experienced student tackle the challenge.

First, quickly off topic - Hi Linda B. good to see you.

I did post earlier and I can't remember where, but I knew it would make these guys cringe but this quote from Liberace, note I am paraphrasing;

"Don't copy the skin - make the paint do lively things across the form".

ewschott said...

I'm looking at that 5YR 6/4 and I have to say why would you mix that with those colors?

I use a full spectrum palette, I will soon be leaving this behind as I get Munsell under my belt.

Painterdog, am I understanding you are saying that once you learn Munsell you will loose your palette now - but for what reason?

If have this right - I didn't think the Big Musell Big book, would give you the "formulas" to mix just the HVC as it relates to your subject.

I could be very wrong in this assumption. But I would think even with the Munsell application your palette can still vary from time to time.

nystudios said...

The sheets that I tested the different pigments on are fredrix canvas pad canvas. I didn't want the weight or absorbency of illustration board. Also as sheets I have them all in a binder that I can take with me to museums quite easily. The reason I kept them white is that the light reflects better through the paint from a white ground especially on the transparent colors. Frankly, I was just too lazy to paint v5 around all the chips.

Hi Linda. I want to come to PHX for Thanksgiving...but I am behind on my homework, so it won't happen. But, I'll trade you a look at my color charts for a day in your studio again!!!

Beth, I think more of the point was to prove it could be done, I know you can do it. It will be hard because you only have the student chips which are matte. As Graydon suggested before place a piece of acetate over the chip that way you can test your mixes directly (well sorta) on the chip.

I was writing last night at around 2am. I can give you the exact mixtures that I used for 5PB later if you really wish. The way I keep my notes, is that I write all the pigments that I used to hit a certain notation directly on the tube itself in order of greatest amount used. So if that tube runs out, I have the parts to start another with right one the empty tube.

nystudios said...

Oh, I forgot. Linda I use a small hand palette, and sometimes a Masterson box. I don't need a big palette to mix pigments, since it for the most part has all been done already. By painting with strings you don't have to waste lots of time mixing while you model is sitting there. You spend a lot more time just observing, choosing, and placing the correct color.

Another thing Graydon and I were talking about is that the more I get into this I really have no need for a lot of mediums to create optical effects. Instead the values, chromas and hues are doing all the work. Really quite amazing.

painterdog said...

Neil are those canvas boards 9x12 or larger.


graydon said...

"Don't copy the skin - make the paint do lively things across the form".

This is one of those statements that artists love, but really is hard to understand rationally. Like I said, one can either try to copy nature, with the same effect, or change it. However, this quote could be interpreted in many ways. Here, I would rather something more specific.

Also, the idea that someone is painting movement wouldn't necessarily be achieved with higher chromas. Other ideas such as soft edges, dynamic poses, a broken paint facture: these might go a lot further than color alone. However, if you want to add the vibration of higher chromas broken into an average flesh, then do so. But do it with assurance rather than something esoteric. For example, just because one is "feeling" something, being soulful or seeking movement, doesn't mean that he or she has the right principles to convey this to other viewers. Painting stiff paintings may have nothing to do with the spirit of the artist.

painterdog said...

Graydon has brought up an very good point.

I used to play jazz and R&B in bands many years ago. A lot of people think jazz musicians play what they feel.

They don't, they play what they know and practice and react to musical situations on a very high level.

There is emotion, and soul, but any musician or painter worth their salt should have this.

I use jazz as a metaphor because it's very close to painting in a lot of ways. Most musicians spend a huge amount of time practicing tunes,scales and motifs in every key. It's the only way to develop the ear and grow.

Munsell is color in every key, in stead of 12 there are 10 but it is the same thing.

Linda Tracey Brandon said...

Neal, you can visit my studio any time! We'll get a model again. Hi Beth!

Graydon, after I posted that I saw that I'd written something of a non sequitur. There are visual cues which indicate that something is alive (as opposed to being dead or non-alive). Movement is one of them and I think this is one of the things that Liberace is interested in. And color is another indicator of life. (We know that Caucasian flesh loses redness due to lack of oxygen pretty quickly after death.)I've always thought - though of course I don't actually know this for a fact -:) - that's why artists sometimes pump up color in skin.

There are other visual indicators of life besides these, of course. (Neal, wasn't I boring you with this diatribe when you were out here? :)I'm off topic here in any event, sorry. )

ewschott said...

Linda I don't think you are off topic at all.

We are after all discussing the issues related to mixing (and therefore painting) like Liberace.

So I hope you don't stop your rationalization of the way he uses his high chroma color, I believe fits like a glove here, or any of the numeorus places I have bothered these very patient people with my thoughts and quesitons.

Hey... aren't you the one that visited the morgue? Or am I just thinking of elvis? :)

Neal is isn't her studio a palace!

ewschott said...

Neal I can't find were you mentioned this, but it was something about covering your painted chips with acetate to take to museums for the ease of comparrison - I was just courious if the guards had to be recesitated when you held one up?