Monday, December 04, 2006


An excellent way to study a particular colour is to do an entire painting with it. Searching for the exact mixing complimentary will allow for a plethora of muted versions of that hue. Adding white will of course create lighter tones. Ultimately, the reality of the pigment used comes into play. Although this painting, oil on canvas, 24 by 28", is not entirely monochromatic, it was a lesson in yellow paints. Compare this with adding a colour to every other colour in a painting, to create unity, and what limited knowledge of that one hue would be gained.

Yellow can be somewhat of a fragile pigment. Mix in too much white, and it looses its identity, being as it is the closest to white, value wise. Add a bit of blue, it turn green; add a bit of black, it turns green again. As a result, many technical painting books will recommend that you always have 2-3 different yellows, to compensate for the nature of the pigment.

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