Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" - NFS

"Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green" by Michael Wilcox is an excellent book that Carol Marine referenced in the workshop I recently attended. The book explains how pure primary colors simply don't exist and all of those that we can buy "lean" towards one of the other primaries. Thus to mix any color desired requires a palette of two of each primary, where for each primary we have one that leans each way. Carol pointed out that with this palette we can mix colors that contain only two of the primaries, which will result in bright or "saturated" colors. When all three primaries are included in the mix, even if one of them is in a small quantity, a duller unsaturated color results.

The painting above demonstrates this. The background color is made from phthalo blue (leans toward yellow) and lemon yellow (leans toward blue). Together they can make a saturated aqua color because neither leans toward (contains any) red, which would dull the combination. Likewise the flower colors are mixed from cadmium yellow (leans toward red) and cadmium red (leans toward yellow). Together they make a range of saturated yellows, orange, and red, that would not be possible if there was any blue in the mix. I could not have mixed both the background and the flower using the same yellow.

Now if I could just get this color knowledge and the change of color for each brush stoke idea together, I would really have something!

1 comment:

  1. Great explanation, Bobbi! I am just starting to read "Blue and Yellow don't make Green" and am finding all the answers to my aforeto mixing dilemas. What a revelation. Thanks also to Carol Marine for the book reference.