This week, I spent a lot of my time at my kitchen table mixing paints, and I feel like I am getting a much better understanding of how colors interact. I went back and mixed my assigned hue in its pure form (pure YG as opposed to my signature hue YG-S1). I think last week I made a mistake and did the tint/tone/shade studies in my signature hue instead of the pure hue, as we were supposed to. I’m really glad I went back and did this assignment over with pure YG, because mixing this pure YG was an entirely different process than mixing YG-S1, and it gave me a deeper understanding of its properties.
I began by using the Chromium Oxide green, as I had in mixing my signature hue, and added white to make it lighter (see top of image above). This yielded a much too muddy, muted result, so I tried the Phthalo green instead. In my past attempts working with Phthalo, I felt like it was difficult to “tame” it to a workable color… everything I mixed with it came out an unnatural, neon-plasticky green. Which is kind of what the pure YG Color-Aid swatch is. I was able to pretty much exactly match the Color-Aid (!) in using the Phthalo with tons of white and even more yellow. This was a really big achievement for me: holding the paint and Color-Aid side by side, they are pretty much identical in any lighting setting. I went on to conduct tint/tone/shade studies of pure YG in paint and Color-Aid.
I saved my precious mixture of YG and went on to mix its complement for the study above. My last attempts at mixing RV didn’t work out as I had wanted (see Week 5), so I took a different approach. Instead of using pre-mixed violets, I simply mixed Cyan and Pyrrole red. I don’t know why I didn’t try this before, but it worked out pretty well—again, nearly exactly matching the Color-Aid RV swatch. I mixed the two pure hues to create two neutrals, each tending toward one side of the mix (one more green, one more purple), and then conducted a tint study with all four hues. I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out. It was a lot of work but well worth it.
Next I conducted a proportional study, drawing colors from an image and creating color schemes with different amounts and combinations. I selected an image I took on a grad school visit to LA… this image was taken in the parking lot of the Hayden Tract . I was thrilled to capture a hummingbird at rest on an amazing desert-y tree. The image had many different colors, including shades of yellow-green, and it relates to my theme of reverence for nature that I will depict in my color trend book.
I tried this proportional study with stripes instead, but it was difficult for me to visually understand the proportions that way. I found squares/rectangles of varying sizes was much easier for me to work with.
Mixing the colors I saw in this image with paint was a challenge for me. I think the sky blue was the most difficult because it was hard for me to get away from the typical baby blue/sky blue/unnatural shade. I found with each of the colors, it helped to mix a bit of the complement in to bring the hue to a natural place. It’s amazing to me that such complementary colors (and colors whose hue can only be achieved through mixing in the complement) are found in nature. Muted tones of the red flowers are found on the stalk thingies of the tree, and as the stalks age, they reach a lighter pastel of the red. Also the tips of the succulent-y leaves have tinges of the same hue. I’m really glad I picked this image because it gave me such an appreciation for how colors are appear in nature. Truly exquisite.