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Thread: Oil Color Charts

  1. #1
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    Question Oil Color Charts

    Hiya,

    I want to start with oils soon and just read through Richard Schmidt's "Alla Prima". Now I want to do the color charts which he highly recommends.

    However, I have a few questions first:

    1) I know that I read elsewhere about mixing the colors. However, I cannot remember whether it's better to mix the darker color into the lighter or the other way round.

    2) I want to create such smooth transitions as Schmidt does. Is it a good idea to squeeze the color to mix in (i.e. white) along a certain length and then divide it regularly into the four or five transitions you want to mix, for each stage mix in the same amount of color?

    I know that I have to make my own experiences, however, I think it will save me paint and pains to follow good advice.

    So - any help for me and answers to my questions?

    Thanks!

    jester

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  3. #2
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    both of those depend on the person. If you want to be frugal, mix colors with more tinting strenth (cadmiums for example) into colors with less tinting strength (earth colors for example), you will probably in the long run mix less paint that way.

    The other part is completely up to you. I find it easiest to have the pure. Then mix the lightest. then the middle. then the mid dark and mid light.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jester View Post
    Hiya,

    I want to start with oils soon and just read through Richard Schmidt's "Alla Prima". Now I want to do the color charts which he highly recommends.

    However, I have a few questions first:

    1) I know that I read elsewhere about mixing the colors. However, I cannot remember whether it's better to mix the darker color into the lighter or the other way round.

    2) I want to create such smooth transitions as Schmidt does. Is it a good idea to squeeze the color to mix in (i.e. white) along a certain length and then divide it regularly into the four or five transitions you want to mix, for each stage mix in the same amount of color?

    I know that I have to make my own experiences, however, I think it will save me paint and pains to follow good advice.

    So - any help for me and answers to my questions?

    Thanks!

    jester
    First rule of painting is don't worry about how much paint you are using. This even applies to doing the color charts. It doesn't mean be wasteful with it, but don't make it a priority to hem and haw over how much paint you've used.

    You need to mix up enough of your main color pile so you can mix 4 more or 6 more colors from it (depending on how many value steps you are doing) to get the value progression from pure color down to just off white.

    As far as mixing darker into lighter and so forth, the color charts will answer this question for you, it's half the reason you are doing them. You will discover which colors are weak mixers, strong mixers, how much color it takes to influence one color versus another, etc. General advice is the cadmium's are strong mixers, your transparent earth colors are going to be weak mixers, so on and so forth. Do the charts, they'll show you exactly what your paints will do for you.

    The smooth transition that you want to get will depend on two things:

    One, how anal are you going to be about mixing the white in for the transitions. It's something you have to judge by eye and it really isn't a mechanical process you can just lay out. Some pure colors are going to be brighter than others and the white paint will influence certain piles of color far differently than others, so again, it's going to be a learning step as you see how much the color is influenced by others.

    The second thing, if you want a smoother transition, and Schmid mentions this himself, you need to lay out more value progressions for the color. Instead of the five steps, lay out seven, or maybe even nine. The more steps in the progression, the smoother it's going to look.

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  7. #4
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    Thanks to both of you. Maybe I just worry too much. I just bought a large tube of white and think I will just start.

    jester

    Last edited by jester; August 29th, 2008 at 03:12 AM.
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    Yeah, just dive in, make sure you really concentrate and pay attention to what's happening with your colors as you mix. The point of the exercise isn't so much the panels at the end (although it is the goal and a very useful one at that when painting later on), but you'll notice almost immediately that you'll be much more sensitive and knowledgeable of your palette. It's really a lot of fun.

    A large tube of white is good, I think I went through about 190ml of white paint, which comes out to about one large tube and one small tube of white.

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