Friday, November 19, 2010

Warm Yellow and Cool Red Artistic Journal Sketch

Color Sketch
5 x 8" acrylic/ink on paper

A warm yellow, azo yellow medium, and Liquitex brand deep brilliant red provided the colors for my color exploration in this sketch. Paint manufacturers often give a name to a paint color which doesn't tell you much about the characteristics of the color until you open the tube. I find this especially confusing in acrylic paints because there are so many colors available in more than one brand.

The deep brilliant red is composed of naphthol crimson and thioindigoid violet! Even though you may not understand the chemical names the words crimson and violet tell you much. The red tends toward the cool reds of the violet colors. Knowing what colors are mixed in the tube paint helps the artist to avoid the proverbial "mud" of ugly mixes of paint.

This happens when mixing green colors from blues and yellows. If the blue has some red in it as ultramarine does, the green tends to be grayed (muted) because the red complements the green pushing it toward a neutral tone.

Some artists avoid some of these color problems by using a palette of primary colors with a warm and a cool paint for each primary, e.g., cool red and warm red, cool and warm yellow, cool and warm blue. Do you see how a painter can mix so many variations on a color because of the chemicals in the paint? Challenging, isn't it?

I selected this sketch today, a light and airy bright color exploration, when the weather has turned cold and a chance of snow is in the forecast even before Thanksgiving. It's spring time somewhere.

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