Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Painting Workshop: Day 2: Color Mixing

Towards the afternoon, we worked on color mixing. As before, the basics tend to use mixtures of greys and white/blacks to modulate the chromatic intensity. So, we mixed up seven levels of grey. For me, I'm just using my five levels of grey and tubed them. In the field, I will add a bit more white, black or other grey to shift my grey to the correct value.

When tinting/modulating color, if you want to maintain the same chroma, remember to only use white or black. These will not affect the color of your paints. If you use a complementary, you are actually shifting the color to another different color.

For violets, mixing Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Deep tends to create a great purple. However, you want to make sure that the color is more bluish. To test this out, just add some white and see if the lightest value tends to be more red or blue. We want more blue so that we can use it for atmospheric effects.

For reds, tinting Terra Rosa produces a nice set of warm reds. For the cool side, you can add a little bit of Alizarin Crimson.

For the greens, I mixed/tubed three basic greens:

Light green: Lots of Cadmium Yellow Lemon with a very very small dab of pthalo green. Pthalo green is incredibly strong, so, you only need a small touch of it. Go slowly.

Mid-tone green: Cadmium Yellow Hue with Ultramarine Deep. To bring up the color a bit, I added a little bit of Cadmium Yellow Lemon. I had a leaf from outside to compare my color against.

Dark green: Paynes grey with a hint of Cadmium Yellow Lemon. This produces a gorgeous and rich dark green.

To create the other greens in nature, simply mix different proportions of the greens defined above. Now, these aren't the only recipes from natural looking green. You can mix a lot of different ones using various blues/yellows/reds.

An important point is that your green should go a long way. Due to atmospheric effect, the greens are usually modulated with some greys or blues or whatever your sky color is. Therefore, the greens that you create are rarely used straight from the tubes.

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