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  1. #1
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    Question which colors for the start

    hi, i thought about starting to do some color-paintings and I´m wondering which colors I should buy. Only primary colors like red, green, blue(black, white) or a sortiment of more different ones like earthcolors, different reds etc.
    any help would be great, I have no clue about it


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  3. #2
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    What medium?

    Oil/watercolor/guache/acrylic?

  4. #3
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    Green's not a primary

    I assume you're just starting to paint, I'd suggest getting the primaries: red, yellow, blue, plus black and titantium white.

    Out of these you can get the secondaries: green (blue + yellow), purple (blue + red), orange (yellow + red). Out of the secondaries you can get the tertiaries (including earth tones).

    White and black for tint and and values.

    If cash is not a problem, go nuts with other color flavors But probably wouldn't be practical at this point if you're just beginning.

    An el cheapo color wheel would be good to have too.

  5. #4
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    An even cheaper color wheel would be to make your own. And it's educating too !!! wooooohhooooo !...

    Try using black and white to a minimum and do your own grays with primaries (and I mean real primaries). It's hard, but oh so rewarding.
    Here is my usual palette :
    Magenta
    Yellow
    Blue
    Sienna Earth
    Ochre variants
    Burnt Earth
    black...
    white...

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlipMcgee
    Green's not a primary
    Depends on which primaries you're talking about
    Last edited by Elwell; July 29th, 2004 at 08:22 PM.

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    Depends on which primaries your talking about
    Word 8)

    More than 1 color theory out there fa sure.....

  8. #7
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    Starting colors

    Well I'd recommend a couple of the following colors if you are just starting out painting in either acrylics or oils.

    Titanium White
    Cadmium Yellow
    Cadmium Red
    Ultramarine Blue
    Cobalt Blue
    Pthalo Green
    Burnt Sienna

    These colors are a good basic set and you don't need to buy black at all if you use this combination, as the Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna mix will give you a pretty dark black. Also Burnt Sienna and white makes a great basic skin tone.

    Actually, I'd advise against buying black at all, or at least using it to mix darker shadows. Better to mix the compliment of a particular color. Ie. Red with green to create a shadow. And, by mixing Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue with white, you can get a nice variety of cool and warm grays.
    Michael W.

  9. #8
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    all: thanks for the answers

    elwell: does this matter? but I think I´ll go with acrylics

    FlipMcGee: yes, just starting. greens no primary? :confused: colorwheel is a good idea

    egerie: yes, I think a lot of artists use this palette. Think I have to make a decision

    nightfend: thanks, that sounds logical to me, since there is no real black in life(if I got that right :imwithstupidincolors: )

    again thanks too all

  10. #9
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    hey guys, just another question:

    any special brushes, or which are the ones you need (size etc) ?
    and is it necesarry to buy a book about handling acrylics or can I just experiment and have a good time? 8)

    again, thanks for help

  11. #10
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    from my short experience of only two years ive noticed that before you tackle colour you should start with very simple pallets i use oils, they are lovely but acrylics can rock too im just not familar with them...if you dont know your values first then colour will only complicate things...i normally start a underpainting of burnt umber (think rembrant) there is a cool wiping tenique too...you put a thin layer of raw or burnt umber on your canvas then take a rag with turpenoid (or turpentine) and "erase" for the light areas.

    doing black and white studies are also great. you get your values first for a solid underpainting then tackle the basic colours...but its best to paint from life. paint what you see. i hope this helps and if i think of anything else ill post it. good luck man

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkside
    any special brushes, or which are the ones you need (size etc) ?
    For acrylics use synthetics. Bristles will get soggy and floppy in water and sables will just get ruined. As for sizes, get an assortment of flats (1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1", a few of each), a small/medium round, and a big housepainting type bruch for gessoing and laying in large areas.

  13. #12
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    Post Brushes and other tips

    Yeah, I'd probably recommend the synthetic brushes if you are going to be using acrylics. A couple of flats in various sizes for blocking in larger areas and then some rounds for details. I'd start with smaller canvases or better yet, some gessoed mesonite. Mesonite is really easy to paint on and can be found at most art stores with gesso already on it and ready to go.

    Oh, and water is the key to painting with acrylics. Be sure to use water to thin your paints down when mixing colors and painting with the colors.
    Michael W.

  14. #13
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    thanks guys, this helps me a lot.

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    Here's a basic... for first experimentation using a broad spectrum, you're better off expanding your palette... you won't have much luck creating some of the lighter tints until you're comfortable with color mixing, until then you'll get really chalky color. This list is really wide-ranging, and you won't use them all on every piece, but this offers you unlimited possibilities on the fly.
    Anyway:

    Lemon Yellow (a cool yellow)
    Cad Yellow Lt or Med
    Cad Orange (or you can mix an orange)
    Cad Red Lt (more of a red-orange)
    Cad Red Medium (the closest to 'red' that we usually think of)
    Alizarin Crimson (a cool red)
    Yellow Ochre
    Burnt Sienna (a dark orange)
    Raw Sienna (a dark yellow)
    Raw Umber
    Burnt Umber
    Sap Green
    Permanent Green Light
    Cerulean Blue
    Ultramarine Blue
    Payne's Grey
    Dioxazine Purple
    Titanium White
    Ivory Black (only for black and white studies)

    In time you can eliminate about half of these... if you're really adventurous, you can start off with a limited palette, but I've seen a lot of folks get really frustrated with not being able to nail colors... it's more because thr values are off, but it's a hurdle. Nail the value and the color can be anything... a good color sense from the start is invaluable.

    If you're absolutely at the beginning, then I would just grab Payne's Grey, or Raw Umber, and white, and do monochromatic studies to get the feel of the brushes and brushwork, and whatever medium you use.

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