Monday, April 26, 2010

Mixing Exercise 11

Exercise 11 - Mid-oranges with orange-yellow and violet-red. Cadmium Yellow and Permanent Rose.

I think these orange exercises are a bit skewed by the W&N Cadmium Yellow. The tube lists only PO20. The W&N website lists PO20 and PY35. W&N Cadmium Yellow Light (the pigment I should be using) is listed as PY35. So, it seems that my Cad Yellow is actually a mix of Cad Orange and Cad Yellow Light. Hmm...I am mixing with a mix... This does gnaw at my perfectionist tendencies but I'll just keep mixing away here, knowing that my yellow is a bit overextended into the orange camp.

Curiously, W&N's Cadmium Orange is a mix of PR108 (Cadmium Red) and good old PY35. Another mix! So how come they mix in Cad Orange to make Cad Yellow and don't use any Cad Orange to make Cad Orange? I think this is a good question so I have posted it off to Winsor and Newton technical inquiries.


  1. That is a good question. So ... what is the W&N code for Cadmium Orange? How strange. Perhaps you will need to find out the names of the chemical compounds. But it's only a step from that to grinding and mixing your own paints from scratch. Watch out! :-)

    It's noticeable that you're getting stronger, more intense oranges with the new mix. The washed out, pale colours show the 'greyed' effect much better than the more pigemented squares.

    There are a couple of absolutely beautiful rose pinks in this batch, in the third column. I was looking at some icing (frosting) roses the other day and wishing they would use more subtle, less 'straight-out-of-the-tube' colours. Cake decorators, come here first!

  2. Katharine, that's a good idea--checking the chemical naming. I'll get into more with Hilary Page's book and Oh my... Speaking of making paints, Natural Paint's catalog recently arrived. Wow... Maybe this coming winter...

    I was also particularly drawn to those lovely tints as they reminded me of the ornamental crabapple trees now flowering in my yard. It seems that these exercises have me looking at color with great interest. It's a good feeling. :-)

  3. Uh-oh! Paint catalogues ... :-)

    Aren't crabapples lovely? We've a tree near our house which puts on a huge display of flowers every spring. What tickles me is that the little sour fruits later in the year are blushed the most beautiful pink inside too.

    After a good colour-mixing exercise it is a really good feeling to look around and see life imitating art, quite successfully too sometimes :-)

    I am working on painting designs in gouache on some unglazed but smoked ceramic sculptures -- so am trying to build up palettes which reflect the colours in the clay. Lots of dabs of complementaries to break the colours down into greyed versions, and a lot of white body to give the paint a 'clayey' opacity and make it sit on the surface. It's startling how just a touch of a blue or pink pulls a pale colour in a new direction.

    Imagine your zoomorphs in these new ranges you're mixing!

  4. Your work sounds fascinating, Katharine.

    Although I am enjoying and learning from these mixing exercises, I look forward to further exercises where complementaries play against the mixtures for muted tones. I have lately been dreaming color--that is, not dreams in color but dreams of color.

    Indeed, my critters will never be the same! ;-)