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Having the a problem with gray

How do I create the color 2 from the first color in the pcture?


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited August 2015
    @RBCC The steps I gave you above will get you there.

    First, is the value different? Yes, the color you're trying to get to is lighter. So assuming you're using Geneva paint or something close to Mark's recommended colors, you have two options for making your color lighter: add white or add yellow. If you look at the color wheel I linked you to, you will see that adding yellow will push the color towards the yellow side of the color wheel which is OPPOSITE purple, so it will make your color less purple. Also looking at the color wheel, you will see that adding white will tend to push your color towards the blueish-purple side of the color wheel (the opposite side as the yellow).

    Since the color you're trying to get to is obviously kind of purple (at least in the photo you took), you will probably want to add white to lighten the color. Add the white slowly and keep comparing the value of the two colors, and stop when they both look about the same lightness (even if the color doesn't match yet).

    Once you have that value about right, do the second step I gave you:

    2— Ask yourself ALL SIX of these questions:
    ——— Which color is more red?
    ——— Which color is more orange?
    ——— Which color is more yellow?
    ——— Which color is more green?
    ——— Which color is more blue?
    ——— Which color is more purple?

    And then the third step I gave you:

    3— One of those questions should be relatively easy to answer. Once you've found the question you can answer, use the color-mixing rules to adjust your color as necessary. If your color needs to be more blue, add blue; if it needs to be less blue, add the color on the opposite side of the color wheel (orange); etc. You can find the rules and a color wheel diagram here:

    Finally, you might find that after you've adjusted the color that your value is off a little again. It happens sometimes since all the different paints can bump the value around a bit, so just repeat the three steps I've given you as necessary. Any color that can be described as "gray" is VERY easy to match with any decent palette IF you follow these steps very deliberately. Do it once successfully, then do it again for another color, practice a bit, and you'll start being able to mix colors "by feel" before you know it. But don't skip these steps if you're just starting out or are having trouble with a color. And don't just say "well I don't know what the difference is", as people often do in the beginning… you need to actually ask yourself all six questions, even if they seem irrelevant, because one of the questions will always be obvious.

    But fix the value first!
  • A little white or possibly lemon yel.light.
  • I'm using apple barrel paints. I suppose I put in red then blue. Given that makes purple? Or mix a blue with red then put it in? I'm using acrylic paints.
  • Yes, red and blue makes purple. So if you add red and blue, whether you mix them together first or just add one after the other, your color will become more purple.

    But you need to fix the value first (how dark/light it is compared to the color you're trying to match). So you will need some white too. If your color ends up TOO purple, add some yellow to counteract it.
  • How do I fix the value ,I'm a little new at this. Does each color have a value?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited August 2015
    Value, the way Mark uses the word, just means how light or dark a color is. So black is the darkest value, while white is the lightest value. A light blue is lighter value than a dark blue. A light blue is also lighter value than a dark orange or brown. So it's really simple, it just means how dark or how light a color is.

    It's really hard to figure out how to alter a color to make it match another color if the values aren't the same (or pretty close), so that's why Mark teaches students to get the value more or less correct before doing anything else. Once the value is right, if the overall color still doesn't match, you just ask yourself which color is more red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple (ask yourself all six), and at least one of those questions will have an obvious answer.

    We have a lot of videos on color mixing you should watch, but we have a quick recap of the whole color-matching procedure we filmed recently (as part of a longer video) which is very good and covers all of this stuff quickly. This link will take you to the 12:19 mark of our video "The Benefits of the Limited Palette", where Mark is about to do the demonstration:

    Watch that before doing anything else. It will get you up to speed, and then you can come back here and ask questions if you still have any.
  • Great answer to a good question!
  • Thanks a lot for answer!!!!!!
  • <a href=" 7 1.jpg.html" Could someone go through this and point me in the right direction, I keep getting it wrong!
  • How can a layman tell if its too light or dark? Or when I need purple or red or white or yellow? John
  • @RBCC your best bet is to watch all of Mark's free videos. The answers are in there. It will save you a lot of frustration.
  • @RBCC, I can see why you get frustrated although the chart does a pretty good of explaining color mixing. I think you need to rewatch the DrawMixPaint and then ask the forum for help.
  • nadanada -
    edited December 2015
    There are teachers that will try make you mix the value , then the colour - and premix everything . I have found that my chaotic palette makes me relaxed and more precise. 
    Further, while it's good to have one black, better to mix different black for different kind of greys to avoid pulling the grey colour one direction or the other. It takes me a minute to make a small dab of black for a given colour. OR I mute the colour by mixing opposite colour .... I just intuitively do these things. But I found for myself, that mixing the grey in right value with one black and adding the right colour to it made it more difficult for me and muddier colours (theoretically, it shouldn't - you should be able to put enough pigment/colour to not muddy it ... but inevitably, the grey mixed with one type of mixed black tints it in very very slightly different way than I'd like.)
    I was just having this discussion with other students at my atelier as we discussed why so many students at our atelier have muddy- grey-brown colours (aside from over working wet on wet due to lack of time )

    Sorry if above was more confusing than not. 

  • edited December 2015
    nada said:

    I was just having this discussion with other students at my atelier as we discussed why so many students at our atelier have muddy- grey-brown colours (aside from over working wet on wet due to lack of time

    I think that mud is relative and that it is a function of incorrect temperature.  IOW, if your light source is warm (e.g., direct sunlight), then a coolish gray in a lit area will appear to be dead or muddy.  All other things being equal, the gray has to tend towards the color of the light to look right.  Conversely, the nonlit side of an object is cool in many landscapes because the warm sun is blocked and the reflected blue sky provides what light there is.  So, the grays in that area have to tend toward the color of the reflected light, i.e., blue.  (In fact, everything on the shade side should include some blue in it.)  If the gray in that area tends toward red or yellow, or lacks blue, it will appear to be muddy.  On a still life lit with a 5000K bulb, mud shouldn't be a problem as long as the grey is also neutral. 
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