Friday, October 19, 2007

The Rational Painting Forum is now open!

The new forum is now open, at

Some people (mostly from the google-group) are pre-registered. Please check your emails, as I have sent you an email with your username and password.

If you have not received an email from me, then please set up a new registration.

Please register with your real full name - forename and surname

Also, note that (for security) new registrations require Admin approval for validation, so it is likely that it will be several hours before your registration is validated (its 5.30am here in London as I write this, and I've not slept yet!!). You should receive a notification email on validation.

Would Sunny please contact Richard or Graydon to discuss your membership.

Please bear in mind that the forum is newly set-up - we will be doing some streamlining and reorganisation over the next few days. I still need to import some posts from the blog and group, from the last 24 hours.

Please start posting onto the forum, in preference to the blog or group, as soon as your posting privileges are activated there. I'd like us all to be using the forum with in next 24 hours or so.


Finalising the new forum

We are not QUITE ready to go live yet, with the forum, but should be within a few hours.

I have CLOSED the ability to register with the site for the moment, and will announce here when it is re-opened, along with details of the address, etc. We have had a few people try to join up already.

Patience, please.


5YR 6/4

This response to Graydon's homework for Neal that he did A+ work on had to be replied to this way so I could show the above image.

The image posted above - granted monitors, browsers, digital cameras, light direction, all of these taken in account will change things – were “grabbed” directly off my monitor from Neal’s mix with chip and extra background area and two of my mixes. I didn’t retouch except I put a drop shadow on my samples to give them the same lift in the image when placing them on the extra background. On side of the mixes do not have the shadow. I did show Neal's chip on both sides and brought one in closer for the image size.

Neal said he used the following colors for his mix: I used Cad red lt., Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Cad yellow, Alizarin Crimson, and flake white.

I am NOT being an antagonist, I just thought if Liberace’s name was on this - it should be his palette that Neal was working from. There are differences, that would matter to the color and to Rob, imo. Also I had qualified my values were likely off...

Rob does not use the Cad Red lt. or the Ultramarine in skin, but granted your homework was to use his palette and those are included. The skin colors for average Caucasian skin are the ones I showed and listed below, Ultramarine I guess could be used for graying down, but he would prefer you to mix Alizarin with Cerulean in lieu of Manganese violet.

I included the Sienna vs. Umber when I listed my palette but the important notation was that they'd both be removed off the palette after the form, figure, sketch on the canvas was completed, as I posted previously.

So there would not have been an option for the Burnt Sienna although looking at my chip I see where this would help for the chroma and value Graydon chose.

Also Rob would never use a Cad yellow (med) as he would not use the Turquoise Med either that I throw on there. (To see the repeat colors on the actual palette they are under the “Other Color…” post.)

OK, Oranges to Oranges...

Looking at the chip in my book and my mixes they could benefit from a bit of ochre/sienna or Cad Orange, or perhaps the yellow was just off.

Also looking at the chip, this would not ever been considered an average local color for C. skin, but what of the 5 YR 8/2 and 8/4? Better yet a value of 9, which my book does not offer.

The reason I am trying to translate the meaning of this exercise is to understand why it would have taken hours when you know from below – ruby, yellow lt., flake and chroma reduced with Manganese violet?

Perhaps that mix was to be a mystery and here is where the learning curve begins? Or was it to show how hard it is to mix a palette one is not familiar with, thus the chips being a good way to reassure your choices or as you learn - it can actually help make choices for you?

Rational Painting: A New Frontier

The Rational Painting Forum will running soon.

There will be two main requirements to post.

1. There will be no anonymous posters. All handles will be people's real names. This is to avoid sniping and ad hominem attacks on other well-meaning members, acts which seem to increase when people are not held responsible for their opinions.

2. As much as possible, all must be dedicated to critical thinking. That is, opinions must be supported by reason. ( Check the link on critical thinking.) The concern for all will be learning through trial, experience and debate. Respect is paramount and arguments will be geared toward greater understanding of the topic at hand. Expressions of personal taste are fine but must be supported by a thoughtful explanation.

Anyone can participate if they are willing to abide by the above and are dedicated to improving art. Art has resisted clarity and the rational for the last one hundred years. Its time that it changes.

I understand that artists can be passionate, and therefore hot-headed. If anything nasty is said or implied, the author of the post will have a chance to clarify his or her point and remove the offensive material. No one willing to rethink a statement will be asked to leave. However all nonsensical and off-topic posts will be removed to keep conversations on tract. No dissenting opinions will be removed as long as they are supported and not meant just to be contrary. The goal, again, is to collectively establish useful information and test its efficacy.

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.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Organization of Tubes

Awhile ago Richard and I were discussing organization of tubes. Although I love having tubes of the exact colors I want ready and waiting, the sheer amount sometimes can get frustrating. I originally wanted to get a tube rack from an art store that was going out of business, like an OH case. Then, I had the bright idea that one of those old college mail box cabinets would be great, you know the ones with all the little doors and windows. Well this is what I have come up with, (and it is all free).

If you go to any Starbucks (yeah, my second home) and ask for any extra "Mug Boxes" they will usually give them to you for free. The order the mugs, and most people just buy them and don't take the boxes and so they just throw them away. The fit 9-15 tubes perfectly, depending on how full they are and how long they are after you fill them. Then I got some milk crates from a convenience store (again for free) and the boxes fit about 18-24 boxes per crate depending how you pack them.

This means you could basically have one hue per crate. 2.5YR 9-2/2 = one box, 2.5YR 8-2/4 one box, /6= 1, /8=1, and then 5YR 9-2/2=1, and the same for 7.5 and 10YR. Then when you want some YR you just pull out that crate.

Not a perfect system, but hey, "Free is a very good price. - Tom Peterson"

Here is some of my paint collection, and yes there 9 or 8 values in each box. DAS A LOTTA MIXEN!!! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Renior Palette

Here is an example of an actual palette of Renoir. One of the core impressionist (although the least talented). But, interesting to note which colors he has as paint volcanoes on this palette. Chrome yellow, Vermilion, Ultramarine Blue, Red Madder, Prussian Blue, and White. As Graydon pointed out to me today the limiting nature and high chroma of these colors give way to in general high key and high chroma paintings.