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Is it all about mixing the paint??

 
 
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 03:21 pm
My most recent instructor quietly made the comment, several times, in class..........."it is all about mixing the paint" ...... I have returned to class after art school twenty years ago. I dont remember that the color was so important, but it was more about the expression or the subject..... So, as I paint now, I see more and more, just what she meant, and how true that simple little statement is........

What is to keep one from destroying a painting going well..... if not muddy paint? A dark line in the wrong place, A shadow the wrong color.......
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 5,615 • Replies: 42
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 03:34 pm
Yup, that was the first thing I learned when I dabbled in oils.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 05:47 pm
I try to use pure pigments and build layer after layer, and i use under coats of compliments or ternary colors. In watercolors and air brush we use overpaint , in which the colors show thjrough successive layers of transparent color. mud is very easy to get. I never use black or Paynes gray since these colors ,like white , just lay there flat , dull, and boring.
I find I use a lot of ultramarine, yellow ochre, and purple for depth in lights and shadow.
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 06:05 pm
It's in the stroke, my dear man. c.i.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 06:05 pm
Um, I do use Payne's gray and don't find it boring, but then I use almost no pure color. I'm afraid I don't hate mud as much as many. I don't mix big batches of color, but just enough for some bunch of brush strokes. I also use a lot of layers, end up with hundreds if not thousands of brush strokes; sometimes wipe them out with a cloth too.

It is all about the mixing or it isn't. It is all about the content intellectually, or it isn't. It is all about composition, or it isn't. It is all about process, or it isn't. That is what is so cool about painting, to me anyway: painters can disagree endlessly...it is a very elastic art, encompassing many.

Getting dressed now in my duds for tonight's opening. Readying the kennel for Pacco...he tends to tear up one pillow when I leave him for each opening... better than my door moldings.
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zincwhite
 
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Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 06:42 pm
Yes, so true, it may be about color or it may not. It may be about the content and the color would hardly matter.

IS that Pacco's photo? and does he paint?
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 10:44 pm
Or some combo of things that matter to each artist.

Yes, that's is the scamp's picture.
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Vivien
 
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Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 12:52 pm
mixing subtle colours - whether by layering thin glazes or mixing a subtle colour and using opaquely - or even better a mixture of both - is the main thing. A picture painted with pigment straight from the tube is deadly.
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shepaints
 
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Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 01:13 pm
Mud, as I recall from a book on watercolour "Makes (pure) colours sing"......
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Vivien
 
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Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 01:25 pm
shepaints wrote:
Mud, as I recall from a book on watercolour "Makes (pure) colours sing"......


is that a quote from Making Colour Sing by Jeanne Dobie? a very interesting book

If it is, her Mouse colours as she called them, were never mud but were carfefully mixed to retain their luminosity and specifically NOT become mud!

It is the subtle colours - or mouse colours as she calls them - that do make the other colours sing.

A soft pinky grey will make a soft greeny grey glow - complimentary colours of red and green.

Similarly a soft yellow grey and soft mauve grey will sing against each other.

Warm and cool subtle colours bring a painting to life. Too many brights are just garish and dazzling.
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Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 11:30 pm
The most important thing in keeping your paints well mixed is ALWAYS MIXING WITH YOUR PALATTE KNIFE also, keep your palatte clean (free of dried debris & mess). When you mix with your brushes, it not only shortens their life span and doesn't work as well, but they get all muddy with different colors. I like to use at least four brushes: one of each for
light warm dark warm light cool and dark cool

what causes colors to dull is when color opposites get mixed. (i.e., red and green, purple and yellow...) Not that that is bad, you may want to dull your colors a bit, but be aware of your color mixing.

Lastly, some good paints help. Get paints of good quality with good pigments if you are a professional artist. Also, have a wide range of colors to choose from. Naples yellow, lemon yellow, indian yellow, and cadmium yellow are all very different colors and behave differently in mixing. You will never get the same results from a cadmium red that you will from a thalo(permanent) rose. Pick up random colors every now and then, see how you like them. [BTW, right now I'm -so- in love with king's Blue]. My fav. brands for oil painting are: sennilier, gamblin, and RGH (are those the right initials? I'll look and fix it when I get home... They aren't too much, are of good quality, and are sold on the web). And when you can, get the real color instead of the "hue."
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2003 06:41 am
I see that everyone uses the "cold light , warm shadow:or warm light, cool shadow" rule. I most often highlight my lights by adding a bit of a light purple to the shadows, the watercolor paper then glows.
Sublety is, however, the goal that I try to achieve because most of my subjects have a focus of something small in and around an area of cold industrial stuff.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2003 11:39 am
Being a colorist mixing of the paint is everything to me. I use zinc white the most cannot get enough of it.

By the way welcome to A2k and the Cyber Art Salon.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2003 10:42 pm
What are all these rules? I must use a palette knife? I can't use payne's gray?
I must use cold light warm shadow and vice versa?

I haven't used a palette knife for decades. I think they are collector's items, sculptural objects, not that you should. Just don't make them a rule for me, please. I know at least one other person here who uses them primarily to paint with. Really, portal, the world of art is more elastic over the years than you may be bargaining for.

It might not be all about mixing the paint...it might be about covering the canvas, or whatever substrate, including a room or an acre, as a whole instead of a piece at a time.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2003 11:11 pm
Portal, that must have sounded challenging from me, but in fact I welcome you wholeheartedly. There has, for about three decades, been some question about whether painting is dead. No, it isn't, it has hardly gotten started. And further, the art topic isn't only about painting as such...but at least some of us want to sustain painting.

What we all need to know is what works, technically, what stupid steps to avoid, or at least approach with caution... so that we don't have to relearn what people learned a hundred or more years ago. (hmm, did they hate payne's grey...)

but not to be tied to them in our effort to express ourselves in sculpting or paint or materials such as fabric or wood or stone or land, or, eeekkk, sea.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2003 11:13 pm
Joanne, the cyber art salon, which I have been announcing as the art chat group, has persisted in not chatting about topics, myself included. We need you back to gear us up for topics, girl.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2003 04:37 am
osso, as I said to JL on another post, there are no rules and we all know it. I prefer to do certain things and, as a watercolorist, color sublety is everything.
Paynes grey and black, used by themselves, have a way to leaden a bright color work. Both colors , by themselves, leave a dull footprint that is difficult to overcome. Sorry if it sounds like a rule, its more of an observation with some "guidelines"
White does the same thing in watercolors. In oils, I use my Ti white and mix in some lavendar whenever I wish to really make a bright seem to glow.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2003 06:23 am
Gawd, my art instructors only let us have three primary colors, usually Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow. It forced us to mix colors. I've since added Ultramarine, Sienna, Ochre and Black to the palette with a partiality for tubes of Indigo or Prussian Blue also.
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Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2003 11:44 am
Palatte knive, we love you
ossobuco wrote:
Portal, that must have sounded challenging from me, but in fact I welcome you wholeheartedly. There has, for about three decades, been some question about whether painting is dead. No, it isn't, it has hardly gotten started. And further, the art topic isn't only about painting as such...but at least some of us want to sustain painting.


I love payne's grey. Use it all the time. Also, cobalt blue/black. They are nice alternatives to black for flat areas of darkness and contrast well with warm hues.

Allright, now I'm fighting dirty Very Happy. Here's why I love palatte knives:

YOU MUST PALATTE. Reasons:
1.It kills your brush. The two things that kill a brush are pressure against the bristles over time (splaying them outward, they loose their spring) and paint getting up on the top part of the bristles where they connect to the brush.
Mixing with your brushes does both of these things, taking years off their life.

2.Palatte knives mix better. You can smear, razor, scoop, divide with them. They are suited to mixing. It's a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back. I'm not talking one of those knife knives for painting with, I am talking about a mixing knife... Here's a link.
You want the handle like this:
http://www.discountart.com/store/media/Dahandle.gif
and the head like this (to allow for scraping):
http://www.discountart.com/store/media/Da2010.gif

The knife shouldn't be too big or too small, it should be flexible and feel comfortable in your hands.

3. It doesn't matter what medium you are using, better control of your color is important. Palatte knives allow you to stay neater, move piles of paint around, and they are a lot easier to clean than brushes. You can even scrape your palatte with them if you are out of razorblades.

I use a large round glass tabletop as my palatte. It was cheaper than the smaller palattes they sell intended for art (mine was $18), and it's more durable.
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Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2003 11:47 am
Lightwizard wrote:
Gawd, my art instructors only let us have three primary colors, usually Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow. It forced us to mix colors. I've since added Ultramarine, Sienna, Ochre and Black to the palette with a partiality for tubes of Indigo or Prussian Blue also.


Mixing colors is so important (unless you're a fauvist). I can understand why your teacher would want you to get in the habit with fewer colors, but you can establish a greater spectral range with more pigments. Just remember to mix colors and play around with new ones to see how they behave with the others. Every hue has an undertone, and those effect mixing results. I'm sure you've noticed that you get a very different purple depending on which reds and blues you mix.
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