Thursday, 28 August 2014

Colour exploration - a single pigment colour wheel

My sketch books have been busy!

Below is a colour wheel painted out in only single pigment colours. Some are not quite ideal, and not all are necessary, but an interesting exercise to do.

  • Ultramarine Violet in the 5.30 position is very weak in Daniel Smith. Another brand may be better, though it is a weak tinting pigment. Try Da Vinci or perhaps QoR.
  • Amethyst Genuine could go in the 5.30 spot instead, but is very dark and neutralised. 
  • Indanthrone Blue in the 4.30 position is also a neutralised blue. 
  • Cobalt Turquoise in 2.30 is not as bright and powerful as a mix of Phthalo blue and Phthalo green would be, and is more opaque and granulating but I love it!  Amazonite genuine is a more transparent alternative.
  • Cobalt Green in 1.30 would be better replaced with phthalo green YS.
  • In the 11.30 position I have placed New Gamboge, but have mixed Quinacridone Gold below as that's my favourite warm yellow.
  • Quin Rose in 7.30 could equally be Quin Magenta PR122. They are different but are both used as a cool clean mixing red for making purples.
Notice the two triangles in the middle connect the primary triad Hansa Yellow Medium, Ultramarine and Pyrrol Crimson and the secondary triad Benzamida orange, Phthalo Green and Carbazole Violet. Together they make fantastic 6 colour palette seen here.

Each of these pairs opposite each other on the wheel neutralise each other to a grey or black, creating a huge range of earth and tertiary colours, with the exception of the yellow greens and the red purples.

Here they are painted out in pairs.

3 - lovely deep greys

12 - don't neutralise each other to grey. good for orchids!

1 makes raw umber hues

2 neither ultramarine violet nor Smalt a perfect combination. Try amethyst?

4 Lovely orange earth colours

5 Indigo and red earth hues

6 Orange earth hues

7 Indian red and venetian red hues

8 Deep greens and greys

9 Black, grey, plum, aubergines

10 Lovely purples and deep greens

11 not so interesting.

I don't tend to work with a palette of pure bright colours as I love the earth pigments, but it's fascinating to see where they all fit into the palette.