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Painting the sky...

Hi,

Need your help because I spent an hour (ok probably more) trying to mix the color of the sky (see image below). The value starts ok but then the color starts to go towards purple, then mix yellow to compensate then mix red to compensate for green, then the color ends up gray ad infinitum.... Brought the picture into photoshop and the color is #4b8dc7 which I tried to mix via the RGB values and no luck there either. Any advice in mixing this sky? Thank you in advance. DWC

p.s. using Mark's paints and the blue is the French ultramarine

https://www.nps.gov/npgallery/GetAsset/FDD756D8-155D-451F-6777E7F856DC3191

Comments

  • I think there is a bit of green in it, especially as it gets towards the mountains.  I would mix ultramarine with a little burnt umber until the value matches.  But you might need some white before you get to that value.  There should be enough yellow and red in the umber to get the color you need without adding red or yellow.  At least that’s how I would start.
  • If you only have one blue and it’s ultramarine then it’s going to lean towards red and you’ll have to neutralize it which as you mention will make it gray. The sky in the image is more of a cerulean blue (yellow leaning) as a base with perhaps some ultramarine mixed in to tone it down a bit, at least that would be my first instinct.
  • Ultramarine and cerulean blue with white makes cobalt.  A touch of burnt number to the mix  may work as gar3thjon3s suggests.  However, if things still don't work,  add very small amounts of thalo blue and see if it helps.
    BOB73
  • I agree with, @oilpainter. If you want to maintain the intensity of the blue a bit of phthalo blue should work.
  • Thanks for the advice. Gave it another go today with the essential palette with no success. So, just ordered some phthalo blue and cerulean blue and will give that a try...
  • Please remember that thalo blue is extremely intense, so when I said just a little, that is all you will need.  Use very small increments.
  • TedBTedB -
    edited July 10
    A number of manufacturers make their "cerulean"-hue with phthalo blue GS and titanium white.  Around where I live, the sky is definitely a clean but low-chroma azure-to-cyan near the horizon.  I typicaly blend for the desired neutral-value, then tint slightly with student-grade phthalo blue GS to control the phthalo's strong tinting strength.

    Ultramarine is too-violet"ish" for sky colors or clouds here. 
    GTO
  • Please remember that thalo blue is extremely intense, so when I said just a little, that is all you will need.  Use very small increments.
    When working with Phthalo Blues for the sky, I generally take some plain white off to the side, then mix in some Phthalo Blue with that in small increments until it is darker than I want to paint with but not black hole dark. I then add that to the sky color I am working on as needed. It is kind of a safety buffer and often saves me from wasting paint because I put to much Phthalo in a mix. If you want a really inexpensive but highly pigmented and nicely made Phthalo Blue just for tweaking your main colors, try Daler Rowney Georgian. $11 shipped for a huge 225ml tube.  
  • TedB said:
    A number of manufacturers make their "cerulean"-hue with phthalo blue GS and titanium white.  Around where I live, the sky is definitely a clean but low-chroma azure-to-cyan near the horizon.  I typicaly blend for the desired neutral-value, then tint slightly with student-grade phthalo blue GS to control the phthalo's strong tinting strength.

    Ultramarine is too-violet"ish" for sky colors or clouds here. 
    Same for me. I can never seem to get the sky right out in the desert with Ultramarine Blue as my only blue. 
  • general mixing discussions in the past often come down to just getting the value right but the sky might be a different matter. I have in the past gotten the blue I needed just from UB and it was very close to a direct match out in the sun and held against the sky. There can be so many variables. At the Time I was living close to the ocean and the air was very clear.  You have to weigh the importance of getting the hue exactly the same against does it really make that much difference in the painting.
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