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Drawing Bargue

SM Plate I 9 1

I was challenged by on of my co-artists. That’s all it took to get me back to searching and learning. She suggested that my paintings may be improved by looking into some classical drawing classes. She said she had worked on doing many of the illustrations from the Charles Bargue Drawing Course.

Being self-taught and not very familiar with the great art schools or the more recent atelier programs I’d never even heard of Bargue. But I did find the Cours de Dessin book of 130 Bargue illustrations.

Then I found YouTube videos from The Da Vinci Initiative where they are using Brague to teach art for K-12. Wow! I went back to elementary school!

I’m having oodles of fun and discovering new ways to think about my art.

It would never have occurred to me that art this complicated could actually be simple! Just straight lines and shadow shapes and voila!

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My 5G Chart


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.

My 5G chart
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Beginning to Explore Greens

SM Green chart from tube colorsLast 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.
Exploring Greens
Chart of Greens
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!
Royal Talens Cobra Water Mixable Oil Color Sets - Combo Set, Set of 10 colors, 40 ml tubes
Royal Talens WSO Starter Set
image 9142569 13717235
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My 5Y chart

SM My 5Y
SM My 5Y
My 5Y chart
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?’
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My 5RY(orange) chart

My 5RY

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.

Next week I’ll do more.

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Trying to Match the 5R Page

SM My 5R

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.

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So many tube colors to choose from

numbered tube colors

Munsell should be helping but first I’ll need to learn more about how to use my tube paints to duplicate the Munsell chips from the Student Book.

numbered tube colors
Tube colors I already own

How to build my own Munsell Charts? First I sorted by tube colors by hue.


  • 1 – Cadmium Red Medium – Artisan
  • 2 – Cadmium Red Deep – Cobra
  • 3 – Permanent Magenta – Cobra
  • 4 – Alizarin Crimson – Artisan
  • 5- Indian Red – Artisan
  • 6 – Transparent Oxide Red – Cobra


  • 7 – Burnt Umber – Artisan
  • 8 – Permanent Orange – Cobra
  • 9 – Cadmium Orange Hue – Cobra
  • 10 – Burnt Sienna -Artisan
  • 11 – Burnt Umber – Artisan
  • 12 – Burnt Sienna – Cobra
  • 13 – Cadmium Yellow Deep – Cobra


  • 14 – Cadmium Yellow Light – Artisan
  • 15 – Primary Yellow – Cobra
  • 16 – Lemon Yellow – Artisan
  • 17 – Naples Yellow – Artisan
  • 18 – Yellow Ochre – Cobra
  • 19 – Yellow Ochre – Artisan
  • 20 – Raw Umber – Artisan


  • 21 – Permanent Green Light + Cadmium Yellow Light


  • 22 – Permanent Green Light + bit of Titanium White
  • 23 – Permanent Green Light – Cobra
  • 24 – PhthloGreen (Blue Shade) – Artisan
  • 25 – Transparent Olive Green – Cobra


  • 26 – Ultramarine Blue – Artisan
  • 27 – Ultramarine – Cobra
  • 28 – Primary Cyan – C0bra
  • 29 – Cobalt Blue – Artisan


  • 30 – Dioxazine Purple – Artisan

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Building my color wheel

my color wheel

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.

Color Bias of Primaries

From then I did lots of mixing and built this wheel.

my color wheel
My Color 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…