Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A lesson in colour mixing: Yellow + Black = happy

My new painting plan is big and I want it GREEN. So imagine my horror when I picked up my bottle of Sap Green, shook it, shook it again... empty!

So I pull out all my blues, yellows and greens and began a new green colour chart to see if I could mix the colour in my pastel study. What I'm aiming for is a sort of mix between olive green and one of my favourite colours: green gold.

Green gold is so transparent it really just gives a glow to any layers underneath it. Often it's the perfect colour for a painting, but it far too transparent to use on its own. So instead I build up layers of different blues and yellows and greens to get the same effect.

Back to that colour chart...

I'm mixing everything with cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, and a pot of ochre. The fact that I can even find 3 yellows is shocking: I almost never use yellow paint.

Chart made up. Found a mix that works. Deep Hooker's Green + Cadmium Yellow Medium. One problem: my painting is 130x150cm (50"x60") and I have half a tube of Hooker's Green.

Sigh.

So imagine my joy an hour later to find a bottle of Hansa Yellow waaaay at the back of my table that I bought on sale "just in case".

Looking at the spectrum charts in my book I can see that the wavelength absorption of Hansa isn't that far off Cadmium Medium - with a touch of red it's close enough that in a mixture and in layers it will work just as well.

So I know I have plenty of yellow now. Alas, still not the right green.

Until I remember that most yellows darken to green with a black mixture.

Meet Mars Black.

And holy cow - Hansa Yellow + Mars Black mix to make... an opaque Green Gold!

I'm a happy artist!

The lessons here: I'm not sure. But it was a bit of a colour mixing adventure. Make colour charts. Have colour books. Oh, and buy random paint when it's on sale!


See the coast paintings tina-m.com

3 comments :

Karin Kohlmeier said...

Is that first photo the resulting color? Gorgeous!!

Victoria Veedell Studio said...

what color books are you reading?

Tina Mammoser said...

Victoria, I happen to be reading Itten's The Art of Color this month. :) (though unrelated to the blog story)

Karin, the photo does have the color but doesn't quite capture the yellow/gold nature of it well. It looks a bit muddy.

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