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Mixing in black

In one of my latest paintings, I was mixing in to colors many times some gray and black in tiny amounts to create a more dirty feel. Like for Hester Street. I didn't want pastel dreamy impressionist stuff. Is that unusual for the realist school, and MC? I don't remember him talking about using black as a way to darken.

Comments

  • Since Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber (brown) mix to make black it's the only way to darken most colours in the DMP method.
  • Ezra, it is common for many painters to mix a string of neutrals which are used to desaturate colors that are too strident. 

    You can mix neutrals several ways using ivory black and some other color that will kill the blue of ivory black.  (Many think of ivory black as a very dark blue.)  the most common colors used to neutralize ivory black are raw umber (considered a very dull yellow), yellow ocher, or burnt umber (a very dull red).  You'll have to fiddle with the ratio of one color to the other to achieve neutrality because various paint brands have their own characteristics and amounts of pigments.  But, after a bit of fiddling, you'll figure out how your paint behaves.  The rule of thumb for a recipe using this method is roughly three-quarters black and one quarter other.  Adjust as necessary.

    Another method is to buy Williamsburg's Italian Black Roman Earth.  It comes very close to producing a neutral gray when lightened in steps with white.  I usually mix four values of gray -- black, 7, 5, and 3.  When needed, I can mix between them to make other values.

    The method for attenuating your color is simple.  Mix as close as possible the color/value that you want, and then, using your neutral gray of the same value,  mix it into your color to bring down the chroma.


  • There is no black paint in Mark's studio.
  • edited August 29
    All you need is a 60/40 mix of UB and BU. That will give you black and, mixed with white, any  value of grey you could want. For coloured greys just add a wee bit of the colour you want. Or, you can make coloured greys by mixiing complemenaries - blue and orange, red and green, violet and yellow ... You don't need to buy a black or grey. The beauty of Mark's system is that you can mix almost any hue/value/chroma you need from the five basic colours. Easy and economical.
  • I'll disagree with Rob on this one :)

    Iron oxide black (PBk11) will look very similar to a mix of UB and BU but will have better opacity as both UB and BU are not as opaque. If you are painting in one thin layer than I like the extra opacity.
  • edited August 29
    Yes - I hadn't taken opacity/transparency into acount.  But if you start datk and finish light I'm not sure this would be a problem.  :)
  • ok. that's not what i was trying to ask. Black, or fake black is not the question. the question is dirtying up a lot of my colors to add some grittiness 

  • Ezra

    A technique, I think you already use, is scumbled complementaries. Will give you buckets of grittiness.

  • I find Ivory Black to be the most useful black, as it doesnt murk out mixes as badly.
  • JPB

    I agree and like to use ivory black sometimes, but as a regular mixer it sucks the life out of a painting.

    Denis
  • edited September 2
    Coloured blacks made with dark  complementaries (dark blue/brown or dark red/green) are all you need to make deep blacks and, mixed with white, these blacks make gorgeous greys which, as a mid-tone for staining a canvas, unify a painting and serve as mid-tones. Unless you are in the total absence of photons (maybe under an umbrella on the dark side of the moon) blacks always have some colour.
  • Shouldnt this grittiness be achievable by desaturating the colours with their conplimentary as Mark teaches? Is there actually a different effect that can be achieved by using black instead? Seems like this could be a potential myth
  • It turns into mud very quickly.if you mix your colors thoroughly. I don't. I never mix them all the way.
  • Theres a tiny bit of black and brown on the bottom to dirty up the apple (not finished)
  • Ezra said:
    It turns into mud very quickly.if you mix your colors thoroughly. I don't. I never mix them all the way.
    Good point @Ezra
  • I dunno. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.
  • Talking to you guys is helping me think it through
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 2
    That idea, anyway, opens up a lot of experiments I want to try now with other paints I have been avoiding.  Good idea.
  • Nothing exists that has a uniform color except for something man made under perfect light. The thing that bothers me about some of the paintings is that some colors are too uniform given how big the brush strokes are. People break up the shades into discreet colors.there is a certain elegance to it but I don't want to do that.
  • It's great of course. It's elegant and graceful and messy, but I go for more chaos.
  • Ezra said:
    Nothing exists that has a uniform color except for something man made under perfect light. The thing that bothers me about some of the paintings is that some colors are too uniform given how big the brush strokes are. People break up the shades into discreet colors.there is a certain elegance to it but I don't want to do that.
    Sounds like you want blended brush strokes (not necessarily blended areas where you can't see the strokes)..
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