This week's exercises call for exploring color mixing. Rather than the detailed manner in the style of Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green, these exercises are about lots of single mixes. I did get in a bit of the old style by doing two mixes, each in different tonal ranges.
I'll get to more of these, as well as some complementary gradations.
I have been thinking an awfully lot about browns and saturation in general. I guess browns can be categorized as low saturated yellow, oranges, and reds. But, then how does gray fit in? This morning I pulled up a bunch of my color charts into Photoshop and began drawing off the saturation, essentially bringing the chart down to a complete lack of color, only shades of gray.
So now what, I thought. Can lack of saturation be both brown and gray? As saturation decreased with yellow, the color slid off onto ochre. Excellent, I thought. Reduced saturation of yellow does lead to brown! But then I continued to decrease saturation and those ochers became gray! So now, I found reduced saturation of yellow led to gray.
I brought up all kinds of charts. Blues, greens, reds, and then some. Of course, as saturation decreased, every color finally became some tone of colorless gray.
So with all this, can I posit a hypothesis that browns are reduced saturation of yellow, orange, and red? There don't seem to be words for reduced saturation colors at the opposite end of the color wheel.
I do hope I'm making sense. I've spent a good deal of time thinking about this, messing about with Photoshop, and just staring at the multitude of browns and grays all about my yard.
The reason for all this commotion? One of my exercises calls from making brown by mixing primaries and then making gray by mixing secondaries. I've read in at least one other book the same thought. My feeling is that this doesn't really make sense. In fact, Exercise 24 has both browns and gray in the same mix. Example 17 is another good example.
If in general, secondaries can be mixed from primaries, then how can it matter? I wonder if I'm onto something here... Or am I just getting mixed up?