Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Dunphy Palette - Color Wheels
Here's two more color wheels using the primary colors Kathleen Dunphy uses. She uses a palette of Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Red (Rembrandt), Cad Yellow Lemon, and Naples Yellow Deep. She also uses Rembrandt Cold Grey.
I substituted Naples Yellow instead of NL Deep and Bright Red from W&N instead of Permanent Red. Permanent Red is PR254, just as Bright Red is PR254. So the only difference with this palette is the NL instead of NL Deep.
A couple of observations and notes:
First, a friend of mine suggested trying to put down a "couch" (prounced koosh), or a thin layer of oil on the panel then painting on top of it. Sometimes, the couch can be tinted for effect. Here, I just laid down a thin layer of walnut oil in the circles and wiped it out. Over the period of the painting of these color wheels, about 40 minutes, the oil started dripping. I had wiped it out, but what can I say. It did help with increasing flow of the application of paint, but it was too slick. I think I'll continue to explore adding medium directly to the paint and applying it first to a dry panel to increase fluidity.
The color wheels have identical blues through reds (purples). These colors are pretty nice, clean, not gritty like the cadmium red medium mixtures were in the previous color wheels I did.
The Ultramarine blue to Cad Lemon mixtures produced some nice greens, but not as bright as Pthalo Blue and Cad Lemon Yellow. And the oranges were pretty good, not overly orange. The oranges did get weak very fast by the addition of titanium white.
The other color wheel, using Naples Yellow, produced some really nice roseate colors that I could see using in floral or garden motifs. Naples Yellow is so very weak, has almost no tinting strength. It didn't really produce greens as much as it produced grey blues. I'll have to see if I can take a look one day at Naples Yellow Deep. Perhaps I'll redo the wheel. This tube was from Holbein and was very creamy but light. It was overpowered easily and almost had no effect in blue mixtures unless heaped in the mixtures. But like I said, it did produce some very lovely pinks and purples. I could definitely see using it for that stretch of roseate colors.
I'll probably still do two or three more color wheels. At this point, my favorite wheel is the Pthalo Blue, Cad Lemon Yellow, Cad Red. Or, Perhaps Pthalo Blue, Cad Lemon Yellow, and Bright Red (instead of Cadmium Red).
Cadmiums and Cobalts are dangerous pigments and expensive. But they are core colors for me. I have a few different reds (Transparent Red Oxide, Venetian Red, Indian Red) as well as Indian Yellow and Yellow Ochre. I will definitely explore more color wheels with earth tones to see what we get there.
Most people will make a color wheel. By making multiple primary color wheels, you get to explore the interactions of pigments of a variety of reds, blues, and yellows. It's very interesting doing these exercises, and you sometimes get results you may likely never have mixed (like the Naples Yellow and Ultramarine Blues). But you do get some surprises (like the Naples Yellow and Bright Red) that you can put in to your toolbox for future reference and use.
As I mentioned before, my standard palette is a warm cool of each primary:
Cad Lemon Yellow (cool leaning green)
Cad Yellow Medium (warm)
Quinacridone Red (cool)
Cad Red Light (warm)
Thalo blue (blue leaning green, cool)
Ultramarine blue (warm leaning purple)
In addition to that, my studio palette also inclues Golden Ochre, sometimes Cobalt blue, burnt sienna, and (rarely now) green with either Pthalo Green or Viridian. (Lately, I've been mixing all my greens).
I have found that trying to make a painting on just a single primary often misses. For example, I really need and use two blues as Ultramarine Blue does not often match what you see in nature and the addition of Pthalo blue or cobalt blue expands your range. Same with reds. Quinacridone red is not very warm, so when trying to illuminate a bright red fire truck or gerber daisy with it is very challenging. That's where a warm red like Cad Red Medium or light comes in handy.
But I am exploring these palettes to find a balanced single primary palette for use in the field. Maybe I'll get there, maybe I won't. And these exercises are great at building up a collection of color swatches that could be helpful for reference.
Well, today's going to be a busy day. I'm heading out around noon and won't be back until o'dark thirty. I made these color wheels today as a way to put brush to canvas and to continue to practice. Even when I don't have very much time, I try to do something to expand my knowledge...whether painting or studying. (I have started re-reading Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting...more thoughts on that later).
That's it for now. Sorry there's no new painting to show. I hope to get in the field tomorrow and try another studio work later in the week as well.
Thanks for tuning in. Until next time,