Category: Part 2

Painting 1, Exercise Primary and secondary colour mixing

colour scale xxx

black and white

 

This exercise was more complicated, I had to identify my primary colours then arrange them on my palette in yellow, reds, and blues. I had previously, as requested prepared a coloured ground using my neutral grey and I was first to lay all my yellows, then blues, and reds next to each other and I was to notice the different shade of each colour and identify the most intense in each one.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many colours to choose from and felt I may not be able to do this exercise well, but I experimented with the colours I had and felt I learnt just as much from the few colours I owned, as I would with many. It really made me look at the variations between each colour well.

The colours that I thought were my most intense were Canary Yellow, Rouge, and Cobalt Blue.

I then had to make a scale from Yellow through to Red, Yellow through to Blue and the Red through to Blue. I was to make a note of how midway along the scale of Yellow to Red produces the secondary colour Orange. Yellow to Blue produced Green, however the Red to Blue produces a muddy looking colour which isn’t Violet. I feel this was achieved, I was then to try other hues to achieve violet. I tried different versions with the limited colours I had and feel it would have worked better if my Ultramarine Blue hadn’t been Green shade. In the end, I found a mix of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue, tinted with a very small amount of Purple to soften the green worked the best. This can be seen top right. I found this exercise fun and a great learning curve of how hues with just a tint of another can make a dramatic difference.

The last part of this exercise I am not sure I did correct, but I believe I was to repeat the first three exercises adding enough white to my chosen primary’s to maintain a consistent tonal value. I did this by putting three equal amounts of white on my palette and adding enough of each colour to produce what I felt was the same tonal value.  Midway between the Red and Blue scale the pigment was supposed to look Brownish Grey, mine was more like a Pink Grey, I feel if I had added more pigment this tone could have been achieved better.

I changed everything to greyscale and was surprised by how close in tonal value some of the scales were, in fact a previous exercise was closer in tonal value than the last three which I tried to keep the same. It was an eye opener as I do a lot of Graphite work that relies on the use of tonal value and I expected to have better judgement. The Yellow had a greater difference in tonal value than the Red and Blue which were similar this I think made trying to keep the tonal value the same difficult.

 

Painting 1, Exercise Mixing greys – anachromatic scale

greyscale xxx

For this exercise, I had to start by mixing black pigment into white to create a tonal scale.  I worked on this a couple of times because I felt I managed the scale gradient, so stopped at the second attempt. It was an enjoyable exercise because it really makes you look at the many different tones that can be made by just adding white. I felt happy with my attempts.

Then I had to study the scale and find the tone that is equidistant between black and white, known as neutral grey. Once found it was to be painted on two scraps of paper and one place at either end of the scale and look to see if they appear the same. I painted one scrap of paper and then cut it in half this gave a greater chance of the two scraps used being the same colour for the experiment. I was then asked to look at them in situ and see if I thought they looked the same. I found they didn’t, the grey under the white looks darker than the scrap under the black, it was an optical illusion as they are in fact the same. This supports the Research previously undertaken showing that hues and tone do have a visual affect over one another.

Painting 1, Part 2, Research Michel Eugene Chevreul

I was to find out more about the colour theories of Michel-Eugene Chevreul and make notes on how particular artists have used Chevreuls theories to expand the possibilities of painting.

Michel-Eugene Chevreul was a French Chemist one of his achievements was the development of a type of candle to which he obtained a patent. It was said to become a the most popular candle in France.

Later in his career, he became director of dyeing at a tapestry works in Gobelin. In his first year as director he heard complaints in relation to tapestry colours being poor, which he found the cause to be optical.  He spent time investigating the mixing of colours and found colours had influence over one another when placed side by side. Also, he felt our optical effect  when looking at colours will also have some bearing on them and how we observe them. For instance, if we stare at blue square for a short time, then move our eyes to a white background we see a yellow square after image which within a short space of time fades from view, the reason for this is we have red, green, blue colour receptors within our eyes, and when one of the colour receptors is fatigued by over reception the complimentary colour can be observed in a ghost view.

Chevreul wrote a book on colour theory which in the 19th Century was widely used as the colour manual by artists, designers and decorators. It was influential with the work of Impressionists and their search for colour brilliance, experimenting with the juxtapose application of colour allowing the colour mix to be done by eye.

George Seurat the pointillist met Chevruel and experimented with his colour theories, his paintings show the play of light where dots of colour are applied to his support and leaving the eye to mix the tiny applications of colour forming an image.

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/georges-seurat-the-channel-of-gravelines-grand-fort-philippe

Josef Albers artist and art educator was inspired by Chevruel’s findings, he published a book looking at colour phenomenon, which is said to have 150 colour plates in relation to the subject. He became a very influential art educator.

Then around the 1910 there was a movement developed called Simultanism by abstract artists Robert Delaunay and Sonia his wife . The word simultanism was taken from the theories in Chevruels book of colour theory, De la loi du contraste simultanée des couleurs. The Delaunay experimented with patches of abstract colour to create movement and light.

http://library.si.edu/exhibition/color-in-a-new-light/using

 

Chevruel and Albers were two artists to influence the Op and Kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez with his use of colour and style of art. Some of his pieces, with their coloured juxtapose lines create visual affects causing the viewer to see changing colours as they move around to view the piece. The shapes within shapes seem to hover and alter, I must admit they have an odd effect on your eyes, I am not sure I would like to look at them when I have a Migraine.

 

http://artradarjournal.com/2017/05/16/mastering-colour-franco-venezuelan-kinetic-and-op-artist-

I have just brushed the surface of this interesting topic, the enormous influence of Chevruel’s research not only effect those that read his studies, but those that studied the studiers. There is no doubt one colour does influence its neighbour and the subject is a very interesting one, but not all artists felt the research of Chevruel was the colour Bible. Monet for one who was said to be preoccupied with garden colours and its powerful contrasts, didn’t feel it was wise to be over reliant on Chevruel’s colour wheel. I think I will have to study the subject more to be able to come to a more educated view, but in this modern world I am sure most of us have seen in one way or another the way colours do have an effect over one another.

 

Costa, A. B. (2017, June 21). Michael-Eugene Chevreul. Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michel-Eugene-Chevreul

Courthion, P. (2017, June 26). Georges Seurat. Retrieved from Encyclopaedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Georges-Seurat

Unknown,  (2017, 6 27). Carlos Cruz-Diez. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Cruz-Diez: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Cruz-Diez

Unknown. (2017, 6 27). Mastering colour: Franco-Venezuelan kinetic and op artist Carlos Cruz-Diez at Puerta Roja, Hong Kong. Retrieved from Art Radar: http://artradarjournal.com/2017/05/16/mastering-colour-franco-venezuelan-kinetic-and-op-artist-carlos-cruz-diez-at-puerta-roja-hong-kong/

Unknown (2017, 6 27). USING COLOUR. Retrieved from SMITHSONIAN LIBRARIES: http://library.si.edu/exhibition/color-in-a-new-light/using

Physclips. (2017, June 23rd). Complementary colours, after-images, retinal fatigue, colour mixing and contrast sensitivity. Retrieved from Physclips.

Roque, G. (2017, JUNE 23). CHEVREUL’S COLOUR THEORY. Retrieved from CHEVRULS LAW F1 WEB: http://www.colour.org.uk/Chevreuls%20Law%20F1%20web%20good.pdf

Unknown. (2017, 6 27). Simultanism. Retrieved from Tate: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/s/simultanism