Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mixing Exercise 8

Exercise 8 - Bright greens with green-yellow and green-blue. Winsor Lemon and Cerulean Blue.

Interesting how these greens are so bright. As these exercises go on I'm gaining a bit of comfort with where pigments are positioned in the color spectrum. Exercise 9 call for replacing the Cerulean Blue with Phthalocyanine Blue with the expectation of even brighter greens. Well, out of all my tubes of paint, I don't have this pigment so I'll simply pass on this exercise. Next up, Exercise 10 will be grayed oranges.


  1. If you can, do get yourself a tube of (P)Thalo blue and do not pass on doing a mixing chart with it- it is an extremely versatile color. Yes it is bright-overly bright (and staining) on its own- but oh! the beautiful jewel like colors it is capable of! A little goes a long way- it doesn't take much to influence a mixture and truthfully, you probably don't 'need' it in your palette, but it really is worth your time to see what it can do! Sometimes it is just what you need when mixed with the more opaque/sedimentary earth colors to produce some stunning natural greens and green/greys.
    ~ gretchen

  2. Gretchen, thanks for opening me to something I might have too easily passed by. I was readying a paper order(it's going fast with these exercises!) and added a tube of Winsor Blue GS. I'll probably have that exercise posted sometime next weekend.

    Looking ahead, there are some interesting mixes coming once I wrap up the two pigment exercises--three pigment as well as earth.

  3. Totally agree with Gretchen, pthalocyanine is a great mixer in small doses -- as well as brilliant greens it produces beautiful luminous greys.

    Isn't the new set of greens lovely? Very spring-in-Geneva -- the river is a mix of those pale turquoises and there are dandelions everywhere.

    I'm blown away by how different all the greens are turning out, even on screen after scanning. It emphasises how useful a limited palette can be in pulling a piece together. Also interesting to see how the 'strength' of different pigments exhibits itself -- the point where the blue or the yellow starts going green along the top row gives a clue. (The phthalo will stomp all over even the cadmium, I bet.)

    I hope some of the botanical illustrators from your course get a chance to see these charts. What a superb guide to mixing for different stem and leaf colours.

  4. It's always the greatest thrill when I first mix the pigments. Just the very slightest addition makes a distinct difference. I guess I expect it when I add a bit of blue to yellow but it's just amazing how a little dab of yellow pushes the blue oh so delicately towards green.

    If I can stay on track, I could finish the book of exercises before my watercolor course begins in early June.

    Katharine, you given me a good idea. I will create a link to my mixing exercises, post it to my page layout, and add it to very first post prospective students see when they come by way of Cornell's site. Then I'll get started on the oranges.