Today was mostly spent visiting my rehab specialist to check out my knee which has begun to give me bits of non-cooperation. He suggested that I would likely be a candidate for knee replacement. Oh, no! He also indicated that taking care of it sooner rather than later is likely a really good idea. Since I expected that would be the advice, I had already made an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon for tomorrow afternoon. Ugh!
So I spent the afternoon painting another Munsell chart. This time I worked on the 5G chart.
It’s basically done with Phthalo Green moderated with Cadmium Yellow deep and the neutrals to modulate chroma. It surprised me that the Phthalo seems to have worked best of all my tube colors. I thought it would only be good for the 5GB chart. I’ll learn more when I work on that chart in the morning.
As you can see these greens are very muted and already feel more real. I picked a few leaves from a rhododendron. The lowest value/chroma greens match very nicely. I suspect I’ll use greens from this chart routinely on floral and landscape paintings.
Last year I did some charts of green from my new WSO oils. This gave me a decent starting point. But like all those beginners, the chroma is uniformly too high. So I’m now turning to Munsell to see if I can mix some more realistic greens. That is, greens that actually appear in nature!
I feel like I’m making some progress with these charts. This 5Y chart seems to have caused me quite a bit less grief. I began today with making quantities of the Munsell neutral grays. I had gotten six containers to keep the paint piles in once they were mixed. I’ll see over the next week if the paint actually remains workable in these screw top bottles. If it does the paint mixing job may go most smoothly. Later today I’ll be in the Art Room with a number of us Foulkeways artists. We’re trying to get a monthly meeting where we can learn from each other and do some art together. Today we plan to discuss ‘Art Today: How does today’s art reflect the times we are living in?’
This one went more smoothly. I tried to get close to the highest chroma for each value. Then I reduced the chroma by using Munsell neutrals. When that didn’t appear to work well for the lowest values, I added a bit of burnt sienna or burnt umber.
It’s not perfect, but I’ll keep going. Color mixing is still not easy but I think I’m getting better at bracketing this time.
My second try at the 5R chart is somewhat better than yesterday’s. The higher values are quite a bit closer to the Munsell chips from the Student Book and I haven’t gone so over-board with the highest chroma.
At least I feel better about moving forward tomorrow.
Although I’m feeling quite insecure, I am willing to try doing this myself. Without picking up my own paints, mixing them, and learning how to make mixtures, I won’t really know anything about how to use Munsell.
I decided to start with the 5R chart.
The mixes here are as close to the chips as I am able to do at this point. Some look OK, many are too high chroma. I’m going to need to do a lot more mixing. Bracketing may help. I’ll try again tomorrow.
I started looking at the color bias wheel for my own tube paints. I have Cad Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cad Red Light. Instead of Rose Red I used Alizarine Crimson Hue.
From then I did lots of mixing and built this wheel.
Amazingly it seems to give me lots of information about some of my tube colors. I’m beginning to feeling more confident that I’ll be able to mix my own Munsell charts. Tomorrow I’ll start down that path…
I learned that every color has a particular bias (warm/cool) and therefore leans one direction around the color wheel or another. A blue will either be a blue which leans toward violet, such as Ultramarine Blue, or it will lean toward green, such as Cerulean. The same is true with red. A Cad Red Light looks more orange than a Permanent Alizarine Crimson which looks more like a blue red. That’s because Cad Red Light leans toward yellow, and Permanent Alizarine Crimson leans toward blue. The same is true for Lemon Yellow which leans toward green, and Cad Yellow Light which leans toward orange.
That’s how I learned to mix bright secondaries: Purple=Ultramarine Blue + Alizarine Crimson; Orange=Cad Yellow + Cad Red; Green= Lemon Yellow + Cerulean Blue
These Value Studies are designed to help my still life paintings improve. I’m finding them quite a bit more difficult than I had thought.
I asked a carpenter friend of mine to help. He agreed to cut up some 2×4 into 2x2s. Only after he did that he mentioned that the only 2×4’s he had came from old wood 2x10s that originally were part of a 3 hundred year old barn! So the cubes had once been part of a tree that was approximately 300-500 years old! It felt like a sacrilege but it was too late.
This turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Two of the cubes are OK, the white-N9 and the yellow-N8 are not too bad.
I’m quite unhappy with the N5 cube and the ground. They were both supposed to be N5. It doesn’t look like it is! So either my Munsell student book N5 chip is really an N4 or my ‘neutral grey’ palette paper is N6!
At any rate, I did learn that I was not able to paint the black dark enough for the shadow side of the N5 cube.
Another thought: These are really boring!!
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