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  1. #16
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    My first reaction was also to question your base palette selection - pthalos and viridian are pretty tricky colors to use as base colors. Like others I would recommend a limited palette - my personal preference is a set of warm primaries and cool primaries - I arrange the warms on my left and cools on my right with my large white base at the top center. Here's what I use (I like Utrecht paint):
    Warm primaries:
    Cobalt or Cerulean blue
    Cad Yellow Medium
    Cad Red Medium
    Cool primaries:
    Ultramarine Blue
    Lemon Yellow or Cad Yello Light
    Alizarin Permanent (I use Gamblin for this color)

    Sometimes I'll add Ivory Black, Viridian or pthalo blue as well but for specific subjects. I also like Burnt Sienna for doing grisaille value studies.

    Like Elwell said - pixels and paint are pretty different. As far as shadows go one good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to try to keep your shadows fairly tranparent and your lights opaque. Opaque passages/strokes in your shadows really deadens and flattens them.

    As far as mixing goes - keep your brushes very clean - to learn to mix color well takes a lot of thought and good habits about just how to handle the paint - be very conscious when mixing and you'll develop good habits and learn faster. You might want to mix with a small palette knife even. Also - might want to switch to a wood palette or sheet of glass with the back spray painted a neutral gray - that white palette is going to influence both color and value as you mix. Oh, and lay out 3-4 times that much paint in your base piles.

    If you are serious about learning to mix then do some color charts - check out Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima" or Steve Allrich's "Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner".

    Good luck!
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  4. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    My first reaction was also to question your base palette selection - pthalos and viridian are pretty tricky colors to use as base colors. Like others I would recommend a limited palette - my personal preference is a set of warm primaries and cool primaries - I arrange the warms on my left and cools on my right with my large white base at the top center. Here's what I use (I like Utrecht paint):
    Warm primaries:
    Cobalt or Cerulean blue
    Cad Yellow Medium
    Cad Red Medium
    Cool primaries:
    Ultramarine Blue
    Lemon Yellow or Cad Yello Light
    Alizarin Permanent (I use Gamblin for this color)

    Sometimes I'll add Ivory Black, Viridian or pthalo blue as well but for specific subjects. I also like Burnt Sienna for doing grisaille value studies.

    Like Elwell said - pixels and paint are pretty different. As far as shadows go one good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to try to keep your shadows fairly tranparent and your lights opaque. Opaque passages/strokes in your shadows really deadens and flattens them.

    As far as mixing goes - keep your brushes very clean - to learn to mix color well takes a lot of thought and good habits about just how to handle the paint - be very conscious when mixing and you'll develop good habits and learn faster. You might want to mix with a small palette knife even. Also - might want to switch to a wood palette or sheet of glass with the back spray painted a neutral gray - that white palette is going to influence both color and value as you mix. Oh, and lay out 3-4 times that much paint in your base piles.

    If you are serious about learning to mix then do some color charts - check out Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima" or Steve Allrich's "Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner".

    Good luck!
    Hey, thanks a lot for the reply. Much appreciated. I am now understanding the need to keep a limited palette, especially for a beginner like myself. I have ordered the colours you have suggested, and they should arrive in a couple of days.
    I will have a look out for those books, and try to get one, or both when funds become available.
    Again, thank you for your time.

    Thanks CraigD for pointing that out. I have had a look, but I don't think I can afford to buy all the paints needed for the limited palette, so I think I will just do similar exercises in my own time, it doesn't seem right to join in on the thread when not using the same paints.

    And thanks for understanding Elwell.
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  5. #18
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    There are many ways to think about mixing paint, and knowing more than one is useful (I might say necessary). However, there's a good way that somewhat mirrors using HSB in Photoshop:

    1. Choose two colors that "bracket" the hue you are trying to hit- meaning, they are on either side of the hue on the hue wheel. Occasionally one color will hit the hue exactly, but chances are it will lie between two.
    2. Use white to raise both of these colors to the value you're trying to hit
    3. Mix the two lightened mixtures together until they match the hue you are trying to hit more precisely
    4. If the chroma (better word for saturation when painting) is too high, mix black and white together to the value of the mixture.
    5. Use this gray mixture to bring the chroma down to the chroma you're trying to hit.


    The basic idea is- start with an approximation of the hue, then match value, then match hue more precisely, then match chroma.

    Of course, there are complications to this method. The biggest one is that, as written, the hue will likely shift towards blue-purple as you mix if you're using Ivory Black and Titanium white, so you would need to learn to compensate for that (there are a number of ways). You also need to use some judgment about the chromas of the initial colors you choose- they need to be at least slightly higher in chroma than the color you're trying to hit.

    This method can also be a bit slow when painting from the model. As you get used to it, there are lots of shortcuts you can take, or you can use a different method.

    It's not a magic bullet, but it's a good starting point, especially if you're used to thinking in HSB.

    I also highly recommend http://huevaluechroma.com. It can read like rocket science, but it's good to read and then re-read as you work more. If you do that, more and more of the complicated stuff will make sense. As Elwell said, there's a lot of misinformation out there, but huevaluechroma.com is all solid, and refreshingly free of bias.

    Hope this helps

    Tim

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  7. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    The basic idea is- start with an approximation of the hue, then match value, then match hue more precisely, then match chroma.
    This is right on - and basically how everyone works - just depends on how you get there. My advice would be to keep it as simple as possible - especially when you're starting out. I think it really comes down to asking four questions when mixing:

    1 - What "base" color/hue is the passage? Blue, Green, Orange, Violet, etc...
    Then start with that and modify accordingly.
    2 - What is the value? Lighter or darker than your puddle - modify accordingly.
    3 - What temperature? Warmer or cooler? If warmer add a little red - if cooler a little ultramarine and white.
    4 - What saturation/chroma - is it more pure or more gray? If more gray then add a touch of a complement - if more pure and it can be difficult to "climb back up" so best to scrape puddle to the side (you may use it later) and start fresh for that passage.

    One tip is when mixing/modifying your puddle - don't try to modify the whole thing at once - start at one edge and see if the color you are introducing is having the effect you want - if it does then introduce more - if not try modifying from the other side - you'll end up with a variety of color in a transition which can be useful.

    Also remember to keep your tools and palette clean throughout your painting session - sometimes the slightest amount of paint can influence your puddle and make things difficult.

    Good luck! Keep it simple...
    What would Caravaggio do?
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  9. #20
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    Thanks a lot for everyones help. I am waiting for some paints to come in the post, should be tomorrow, but I will be sure to spend a good few hours just trying to mix paints. I'll be sure to post my results!
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