3069: Neutralize With Gray or Color

Today I try to figure out if neutralizing a color with gray is better than with it’s complimentary.

Okay after testing the colors on my palette again after 24 hours of being there I have concluded finally that yes the fumes from clove oil does extend the drying time of the paint to my palette. The only exception is burnt umber there is really not much extension happening there, just a little bit.

Several days ago I mixed up a half tone color for the paper cross painting. This mixture uses a lot of titanium white and I wrapped it in some plastic to see how well it would keep. And unwrapping it today reveals very wet paint perfect for working.

For the paper cross paying today I’m trying to test the best way to neutralize a color. Do I use a neutral gray to neutralize the color? Or do I use the colors complementary to neutralize it?

The first mixture that I’m doing is for the shadow area at the very top of the paper cross. And I’m using a mixture of burnt umber and neutralized with titanium white and ivory black.

After looking at the muscle color wheel I realized that the exact complimentary color for burnt umber is manganese blue hue. I have this color in tube but it’s value is much lighter than the value that I need. So do I pick a blue that will move for an umber on the color wheel but also has a darker value? Or do I use this manganese blue hue and darken it with ivory black?

After testing the manganese blue hue against the shadow on the monitor I realized that the value is pretty close. Although the hue is much more saturated and intense.

Because the tube of this manganese blue is a hue, it’s tinting strength is super low. So it’s going to take a lot more manganese blue to adjust any other color except maybe titanium white.

In fact the tinting strength is so low that it would be easier to put out a pile of the manganese blue hue then mix a tiny bit of another color into it.

Here is the verdict. Is it better to neutralize a hue by using a neutral gray or by using its complementary? After mixing up the shadow color in both situations the color that was produced is basically exactly the same. But I like using a complimentary better because it gives me the ability to use both complementary colors in the painting and allow those shoes to mix optically. With using mutual gray you can kind of do that but you don’t have as much range.

Another thing that I noticed is that the Munsell system is wonderful for getting you to understand color and how it moves around the color wheel. But it is not going to help You take a painting to the next level. If you just use the mixtures that you made to match exactly what you see you tend to end up with very perfect gradients between two hues. And life just isn’t like that. Within life there’s all kinds of subtle transitions and hues on every object. So having the ability to see the value and the hue is essential but also introducing all of those other vibrations is where magic happens.

After the last few days of color work I’ve realized that making my own Munsell color wheel and plotting all my tubed paints on that wheel would be super helpful.

Paper Cross


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Shut down on time and cool my brain well before bed.

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