Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Colour Chart - ultramarine blue

I'm still working on my colour charts off and on when I get a moment.  Yes, they are time consuming, yes they take some paint and some work, but yes they are worth the effort. Nothing helps you become so familiar with your palette as does the process of finding values that you can achieve by pushing paint around.

This is the third chart still using my split primary palette.  This time ultramarine is the dominant colour and mixed across the top row with each of the other colours then downwards in ever increasing amounts of titanium white to decrease the value as I go.

Ultramarine blue is the workhorse of many palettes as it is versatile, cool, transparent and powerful.  Its bias leans towards red so mixed with yellows, either cadmium lemon or cadmium yellow light here, the greens produced are less saturated than the mix I'd get with Pthalo Blue and Cad lemon for instance.  You can read everything you need to know about ultramarine pigment on the Winsor & Newton site.

Titian made dramatic use of ultramarine in the sky and draperies of Bacchus and Ariadne (1520-23).

With the reds, the range of purple and violets in pronounced with a richer version in alizarin crimson and permanent rose as they have some blue in them giving a more saturated colour than when mixed with Cadmium Red Light has a yellow bias and desaturates more towards a purplish grey, which I quite like.

Four value ranges, from left to right, mixing pthalo  blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber and payne's grey with ultramarine and titanium white.

When mixed with the earth tones, chromatic blacks can be created, leaning towards browns in the Burnt Sienna, charcoal greys with Burnt Umber and blue-greys when using Payne's Grey.  Payne's Grey is a mix of Ultramarine, black and a little burnt sienna, so staying within that family a harmonious palette is created.

Next I will be looking at blacks and greys, both straight blacks and greys from tubes as well as chromatic blacks, which I prefer as they have more warmth and interest in them.

As a note, I have used mostly KAMA pigment oil paints in the colour chart and heavy weight Bristol paper 400 series 11" x 14" applied with a palette knife.


theartistsday said...

Oh, I like this one Jeanette. I'm beginning to see the pictorial possibilities in a colour chart!

Jeanette Jobson said...

I love the blues and greys in this Mary. There are infinite possibilities.

Maggie said...

When you make your mixes of colors, what are you aiming for? The middle place where neither hue dominates?
Also, are you only mixing two colors, or do you ever do a triad in one mix?
Thanks for the post

Jeanette Jobson said...

Maggie, I'm testing the range of tints in this series of charts going from dark to light. Its an exploration of my current palette of cool and warm colours and how they interact.

These are two colours only in each column right now (depending on the colour used and its bias, there technically can be three - cad lemon yellow and ultramarine for instance. Cad lemon has a blue/green lean and ultramarine a red/violet lean so red becomes the third colour introduced and desaturates the hue a little.)

To go to that middle place where you neutralize the colour so neither is dominant usually uses complementary colours or a mix of three primaries and white.

I will be looking at chromatic greys and blacks which do use three colours. Three will create desaturated colours which are necessary in painting, but can lead into colours that are too grey/brown if not careful. I think its important to know how to get "mud" instead of accidentally doing it.

I'll also be charting a Zorn palette which is quite limited and see what lovely colours that produces.