Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Importance of Creating Your Own Color Wheel

One of the things that I have talked a great deal about in my blog is the use of color. My biggest complaint, and to be more than fair, my crutch as well, has been the demand for a multitude of colors, many barely a shade off of each other from acrylic paint manufacturers, rather than mixing your own colors from a few basic colors. The old masters and any good painter today uses a basic palette of about 12 or so colors, with white and maybe black included. With those few colors they are able to create just about any color in the million or so colors our eyes can distinguish.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that if you create a new color from two colors you have already used, the color will fit in perfectly. You almost don't need to use that new color here and there because the parent colors have already been used.

To prove my point, I am showing you a color wheel I created in a class where we used a basic palette and used two mixing colors, Pthalo Blue and Indian Yellow with other basic colors so show what you can create. There are other combinations that I will talk about another time that show a basic color and a dab of another one down say 8 steps that takes the pure color of a ultramarine blue with additional dabs of white or maybe Indian Yellow down those steps creating colors you would never have guessed. As we created them we were all stunned. Yet, it takes practice and that is something that many of us are not willing to do.

Possibly a short term short cut is to create colors as you work a painting. Adding one color to another to create what you think you want may lead you down a wonderful path of discovery, one that you may not have planned but because you did it yourself, you will not soon forget. As you can see above, it doesn't take long for a color to change and yet, EVERY SINGLE COLOR in that wheel fits perfectly and you can easily create a painting with those colors and never have to worry about getting the right color ever again! I can hear the complaints about "what if we can't get that same color again?" Does it matter? Does it have to be exact? You know what colors were used and I have found that at times you create and even better color that is then brushed across already painted areas giving additional depth and texture to the painting.

The same goes when using black and white. The very top step guide takes a basic black and adds a dab of medium more in each box going to the right. It goes from solid black to a pale grey. White is added to basic black in the next row and see what happens there as well. Blue? Well, if not truly blue, definitely a blue grey.

Until you give this a try, using a medium with any color successively as I did with the black or white successively as I did with the second row, you may never know what will happen.

I urge you all to give it a try. It works pretty much the same with oils or acrylics. Let the fun begin!

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