All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Monday, December 27, 2010

Color Charts: Mixing it up!!!

Continuing on with the Color Charts...
*(NOTE: The camera is really not picking up the colors very accurately. Trust me on this one...)
First up: Do the same mixtures of the raw colors, only this time using Zinc White.
After the masking tape is pulled, the two mixtures will be side-by-side. The Zinc White is warmer than the Titanium, and more transparent. At this point, I have only mixed the first (raw color) column in both TItanium and Zinc, as the paint needs to dry before I can mask over it.

Next step: mix each base color with each of the other base colors, and down to white - keeping the base color slightly dominant. This means that for each color mixture, there will end up being two versions, one leaning slightly to one color, and one leaning slightly to the other. For instance, in the Red Oxide chart, the Red Oxide/Yellow Ochre mixture is influneced slightly more by the red. On the Yellow Ochre chart, the same mixture will lean slightly to the yellow side.

In this step, I begin with the base color for the chart. For instance, in the upper left is Red Oxide. The first column is the raw color, mixed down to almost-white with Titanium. Next to it is the same thing with Zinc.
The following columns are Red Oxide mixed with Yellow Ochre; with Burnt Umber; with Payne's Gray; and with Manganese Blue Hue. These are then mixed down to white; first Titanium White on the left side of the column, and when that dries, with Zinc White on the right side of the column.

It may seem tedious, but in the end I will have each color mixed with each of the other colors, with two versions, one dominant in each of the colors; and each of these colors will be mixed down to almost-white with both Titanium White and Zinc White. (Besides, I am a pretty tedious person anyway. lol )
I will have a pretty good idea of what each color in my palette is really cabaple of. And, I will have a handy reference of simple color mixtures and simple, rich neutrals, with a certain degree of built-in color harmony.
In addition, I will be able to look at photos, videos, movies, and TV shows, and decipher how their color schemes work, and how I could mix up similar color schemes with my palette.

For instance, looking at this picture of Loreena McKennit I can already begin to see the simple color combinations of two dominant colors: Payne's Gray and Yellow Ochre; and how the dominant colors can be modulated with Red Oxide, Burnt Umber and Manganese Blue.

And here is what started it all (this time, at least)-

When I saw these scenes from the TV series Merlin, I could immediately identify a cool/warm, Blue/Orange dominant color scheme in which Payne's Gray and Yellow Ochre/Red Oxide could easily be used as the primary colors. Very simple, very powerful color schemes. And they work.


And what a coincidence that I had switched my palette over to these exact colors! (Or is it not coincidence, but the guiding hand of fate...?)

There was another scene in Red/Green, and trying to figure out what colors to mix to get those dominant colors was what started me experimenting, and ultimately led to these color charts.

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