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Question: If the color doesn't matter, why not start with black and work.......

If the color doesn't matter, why not start with black (if the darkest color is black) and work your way down to white in steps of approximately 10%?   Dianna


  • That would work except for very saturated colours as the grey you are making would stop you getting very saturated colours.
  • Thank you.  I just don't quite 'get it' yet.  I'll have to keep thinking about it, but thank you anyway.  Dianna
  • Dianna

    Every painting exists in a small subset of the colour gamut.

    An equally spaced 10% step across the temperature and intensity dimensions may miss all the values needed for a forest scene or a snow scene.


  • Make small steps when going short distance, big steps for long distance. OR.  If the color/value you want isn't too far from what you have, make very small steps. If it's a lot different, the 10% might be ok until you get closer.
  • What you can do is mix the 10% steps and then when you need a value/colour in between the steps you have you can either mix a new one on the palette or mix the two values in paint on the painting.
  • I'm confused - who says color doesn't matter?  Things will "read" well if the values are correct but holy cow, color is invaluable for beautiful paintings (in my eye).  I also find that temperature is even more important than hue - that is what I struggle to see, the slight temperature shifts but wow, when an artist does that, it is a perfect symphony.

    Whatever you are doing, your painting is coming along very well @Dianna - thank you for sharing.
  • I think temperature shifts are easier to see when colours are saturated. When colours are closer to grey then hue changes are much harder to see.
  • I suggest you purchase a value scale from Jerrys and try painting a scale to match.  Its a great exercise to get those 10% steps. 
  • @Julianna I agree with you. Colors are like aroma in a prepared food. I also agree with you on temperature. Temperature actually modifies the color. I guess Aaron Westerberg's paintings are a good example to learn this.
  • @Kaustav oh my goodness gracious - I have just spent the past 30 minutes drooling over Westerberg's art - holy cow - I am in awe.  Did you notice also how his neutrals are so gorgeous and it actually makes his colors and temperatures sing....  oh wow...……..  thank you for introducing me to his work!!!

  • @Julianna agreed. I am following him for more than two years and not so recently Stan Prokopenko came out with his interview and a gigantic video on his painting process. You can check that on Proko's YouTube channel.
    I am also trying to increase my color range. I am beginning to use all the extreme colors that can be modified to literally anything. I use titanium white, cad lemon, cad orange, alizarin crimson (since quinacridone magenta is not available at a cheaper rate) and Prussian blue. I also keep pthalo green and cad red light handy. 
  • Yep, Aaron really brings the hammer down on the color question.Image result for Aaron Westerberg paintings
  • Well, I am stunned at the response. I have never had this kind of information available to me before (even though I did Fine Arts at Sydney Uni - but that was different). The only tuition I have ever had was from random teachers who simply put out fires. And anyway, by the time I'd waited my turn, I'd lost interest. I had no idea such a thing as a method even existed. I will try to deal with everything you tell me. Hard to learn though. For gamut I will simply use the word 'range' for the time being. The reason I have chosen a step of around 8% is because that's what Mark appeared to be doing in his videos. Then when painting I mix the values to get what I want. I don't really understand temperature shift yet, but I suppose that means when the colors get warmer or colder? I will go on line and look up Aaron Westerberg's art. No idea about gorgeous neutrals!! making his colors and temperatures sing.  Foreign language.  Looking forward to learning it.  Thank you all for your contribution. I hope to keep learning from you all.  Kind regards  Dianna
  • Don't worry about the words, educators made them up to keep us confused and make themselves sound smarter than the rest of us. That's the beauty of Mark Carder's method, everything is reduced to color and value. Everything else is vocabulary.
  • Denis, so what if you start with the darkest color and end with the lightest (not black and not white), and drop down 8% per step even though the gamut or range is very small? That's what you mean, isn't it?
  • Yes, I love the fact that Mark's method focuses on values and color. I always think the simplest things are the cleverest in the end.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited September 2018

    I mean that a painting can be low key or high key and may not even show any of the darkest or lightest values possible with paint.

    Have a look at how Gurney demonstrates temperature effects using a gamut approach.

    James Gurney explains warm and cool gamut mapping

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