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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hello, my name is Mike, and I am a paint geek.

I have a problem.
I like to make color charts.

Yes, it's true. I probably get into this stuff way more than I should. I should be making beautiful paintings, not messing around with this stuff.
Blame Tony Ryder. He had us mix every color on our palette with every other color. You know what? It learns ya. Some of the resulting mixtures were surprising. I found out that you can create an exact Yellow Ochre by mixing Chartreuse and Brilliant Pink.
Or blame Richard Schmid. He recommends doing the same thing, and expands on the idea by mixing each color mixture down to almost-white... and I took his advice (see above.)
Or blame my dad. He showed me the value of being a craftsman (as well as an artist.)
Sure it seems crazy. But that's how I get INTO the paint, how I get inside it; it's how I get a feel for what it can do. It's how I get to know my tools. It's like taking a great sports car for a really in-depth test drive. I really enjoy it. It gets me jazzed to see the colors happen right in front of my face.
And it sharpens my ability to mix colors on the palette - simply and cleanly.
And god knows I need that. If left to my own devices, I would throw every color for which I had a tube of paint at any given mixture; and then wonder why it looks mucky. I mean, they're all beautiful colors in their own right, yes? So wouldn't they look GREAT all mixed together?
That is how my brain works. That's also how I wind up lost in the middle of the "Technicolor Melty Jungle."

And this is my thinking process, how I figure things out; because I have a driving need to figure things out. I am not satisfied to just let things happen by chance; I have to know why they work when they do, and what went wrong when they don't.
So forgive me if I walk out of this support group. You can join me if you want. But I am content with knowing myself, and how I work, and going with that.

So here we go... color charts!
...with my newly concocted 'limited palette'
(Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Paynes Gray, and Manganese Blue Hue; from the line of 'Open Acrylics' by Golden.)
First we start with the raw colors of the palette, and mix them with Titanium down to almost-white in five steps...

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