School of Colour UK https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk Artists & Designers - Gain full control over colour mixing and colour use Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:25:09 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/colour-bias-wheel-551565dcv1_site_icon-100x100.png School of Colour UK https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk 32 32 Colour and Technique: April 2016 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-april-2016/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-april-2016/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 22:53:10 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=1693 I will be visiting the USA in the next few weeks to give a series of seminars, workshops and talks. The initial events will be held in Florida but if your group or club is interested in hosting one of these events, please contact Britta at seminars@schoolofcolor.com.  Click here to read the full newsletter. 

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I will be visiting the USA in the next few weeks to give a series of seminars, workshops and talks. The initial events will be held in Florida but if your group or club is interested in hosting one of these events, please contact Britta at seminars@schoolofcolor.com. 

Click here to read the full newsletter. 

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Colour and Technique: October 2015 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-october-2015/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-october-2015/#respond Mon, 02 Nov 2015 16:30:02 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=1356 Q. I’ve been puzzled about your mentioning that glazing can’t be properly reproduced in print.The best answer I came to is that printing is done by mixing simultaneously on the surface of paper and therefore can’t reveal the depth in the painting – although this mixing is done without white and uses the white from […]

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Q. I’ve been puzzled about your mentioning that glazing can’t be properly reproduced in print.The best answer I came to is that printing is done by mixing simultaneously on the surface of paper and therefore can’t reveal the depth in the painting – although this mixing is done without white and uses the white from the paper… I wonder  >>>

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Colour and Technique: September 2015 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-september-2015/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-september-2015/#respond Sun, 01 Nov 2015 10:57:18 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=1347 This is the first School of Color Newsletter for many a month. Apologies to anyone who might have missed it but we have been very busy reorganising and also working on the new website:  www.schoolofcolor.com  Q. I have read that a layer of oil should be applied between each layer of oil paint in addition to […]

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SOC Oiling out pic

This is the first School of Color Newsletter for many a month. Apologies to anyone who might have missed it but we have been very busy reorganising and also working on the new website: 

www.schoolofcolor.com 


Q. I have read that a layer of oil should be applied between each layer of oil paint in addition to the final oiling out layer to avoid dull patches.

Is it necessary to do this or is the ‘oiling out’ layer sufficient?

A. If oil is ‘sucked down’ from the top paint >>>

Click here to read the full newsletter. 

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The Fresco Technique https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/the-fresco-technique/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/the-fresco-technique/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:56:07 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=651 The technique of wall painting known as Fresco called for the application of colour onto plaster. Two methods are available, and buon fresco (good fresco). and ‘fresco secco’ (dry fresco). Below is an example by Giotto an artist of the Florentine School.   Buon fresco With this approach, colour is applied onto fresh, still damp lime plaster. […]

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The technique of wall painting known as Fresco called for the application of colour onto plaster. Two methods are available, and buon fresco (good fresco). and ‘fresco secco’ (dry fresco). Below is an example by Giotto an artist of the Florentine School.

Giotto An artist of the Florentine School 


Buon fresco

With this approach, colour is applied onto fresh, still damp lime plaster. As the colour is applied it immediatly sinks into the surface and is locked in as the plaster dries.Two coats of plaster were applied (I say ‘were’ because this teqnique is seldom practiced nowadays). The drawing was carried out after the first layer, a lime and sand mix, had fully dried. Charcoal followed by a red ochre set out the design.


The day piece

A second layer of plaster was then applied, a small area at a time. each large enough for one days work, At the end of the day the edges of the plaster were undercut ready for the next days application. Wheras oil is the binder in oil paints, the ‘binder’ in fresco is the damp plaster. The paint being a simple mix of pigment and water. Traditionaly,five strengths of each pigment were carefully prepared beforehand, ready for immediate use.

It was an extremely difficult method of working which called for great patience and did not allow for error. As soon as the colour was applied it sunk into the surface and could not be removed. Overpainting and alterations were either impossible or very liited in character. Colour mixing on the surface of the work was minimal. The only efficient way that hues could be blended was to apply the colours side by side, or by hatching, so that they blended optically.


Fresco secco

Certain pigments, such as Azurite (a blue) reacted poorly with the lime and had to be applied after the plaster had dried. In such instances size or egg yoke would be mixed with the pigment. Such painted areas often flaked in later years.

Fresco secco was not only employed where otherwise unsuitable pigments were employed. The addition of size or egg yolk made the colours richer and allowed for sharper detail. The tequnique can be used for its own sake, with the entire piece being executed onto dry plaster.

Giotto is often described as the artist who opened the way to the Renaissance. He moved away from the rather formal approach taken by earlier artists and introduced relatively bright colours. Modern painting began with Giotto. Considering that he worked mainly in the difficult technique of Fresco, his work is surprisingly realistic. He was one of the first painters to individualise the human figure.

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Mixing Greens, Part II https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/mixing-greens-part-ii/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/mixing-greens-part-ii/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:53:50 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=649 For most artists the mixing of colour is pure guess work – trial and error and more often than not, error! Our colour Mixing Palette, together with an understanding of what actually happens when colours are mixed, has enabled countless artists of to mix their colours with confidence. Once the basics have been mastered, the […]

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For most artists the mixing of colour is pure guess work – trial and error and more often than not, error! Our colour Mixing Palette, together with an understanding of what actually happens when colours are mixed, has enabled countless artists of to mix their colours with confidence. Once the basics have been mastered, the ‘trials’ become enjoyable and the ‘errors’ become a thing of the past.

In the associated article, Mix Greens With Confidence – part one I suggest that you think of green as an ‘impurity’ in any blue or yellow. Blues such as Cerulean or Phthalocyanine ‘carry’ a lot of this ‘impurity’, as does a yellow such as Hansa (Lemon) Yellow. On the other hand, Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow carry very little green.

When any yellow or blue are mixed, the ‘blueness’ and ‘yellowness’ disappear leaving behind the green ‘impurity’. Hansa Yellow and Cerulean Blue, for example, make a relatively bright green as they are both good ‘carriers’ of green. Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine Blue make dull, dark greens as they are poor ‘carriers’. A wide range of reliable and predictable greens can easily be produced this way.

But there soon comes a time when we need to darken such greens. If black is added it destroys the very nature of the greens. We need to identify and use the complementary colour to green, which is red. Many artists know that red and green are complementaries, but which red and which green? Any red will darken any green but the results will often be unpredictable.

In order to keep a green close to its original character as it becomes de saturated we must choose the type of red with care. It is always worth while choosing the natural mixing partner if you wish to rake full control of the situation. The palette has been designed to identify the mixing partner for you as you work. 


Yellowish Green

Yellowish Green

A bright yellowish green does not become a darker yellowish green with black, but more of a drab khaki looking colour Control of colour mixing is immediately lost. We need to find a way of reducing the amount of green which is reflected if the colour is to lose its intensity. The ideal way to do this is to add the mixing partner. 


Hansa Yellow

Mixing Hansa Yellow

As I have mentioned a bright yellowish green, let’s start off with this colour Hansa Yellow and Cerulean Blue will give a relatively bright green. If extra yellow is added we naturally end up with a yellow green.

To darken this colour, simply look for the outer mixing well which has a printed colour guide nearest to the yellow – green. Do not look for an exact match, simply select the nearest. Put the yellow-green paint into the well and look opposite on the palette for the ‘mixing partner’. This is found to be violet-red. 


Violet-red absorbing yellow-green

Violet-red absorbing yellow-green

As small amounts of the violet-red are added to the yellow-green the colour darkens, or becomes less saturated. Think of the violet-red acting on the yellow-green almost like a dimmer switch, turning down the yellow-green light. Violet-red is very effective at absorbing yellow-green. 


Mixing a Blue Green

Mixing a Blue Green

Let us now mix a blue-green and seek its mixing partner. A relatively bright blue-green will emerge from a mix of Hansa Yellow (which from now on we will call a ‘green-yellow’) and Cerulean Blue, a ‘green-blue’.

The mixed blue green is placed into the appropriate mixing well, using the printed colour guide. Its mixing partner, an orange-red (not just any red), lies opposite on the palette. 


Adding Orange-Red

The School of Colour - Colour Mixing Palette

As the orange-red is added to the blue-green it again acts like a dimmer switch, turning down the blue-green light. This is a useful analogy as all colours are reflected light. Now let us add a little more blue to the mix, making it a very blue green. Its mixing partner is once again to be found opposite on the palette.

This time the partner moves from an orange-red to a reddish orange. (Ideally mixed from Cadmium Red Light and a little Cadmium Yellow Light). It is simply a case of selecting the most appropriate outer well and looking opposite on the palette.

There is a side benefit to selecting mixing partners (complementaries) with care. You can not only darken colours naturally and keep them in character but also produce a wide range of coloured grays. Such grays emerge when a complementary pair is mixed in or near equal intensity.

As the orange-red absorbs the blue-green, there comes a point when both colours mutually destroy each other. Not only does the red destroy the green, but the green absorbs the red. 


Coloured Grays

Coloured Grays

At this point we are left with a series of coloured grays. We can use such darks as they occur or lighten them with white or through thin application. Such tints can be extremely subtle and when used with the original red and green, provide the basis for one approach to colour harmony.

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Mixing Greens, Part I https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/mixing-greens-part-i/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/mixing-greens-part-i/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 03:22:37 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=625 Whenever I give a demonstration of colour mixing I ask my audience where they experience the main difficulty. The answer is invariably the same – mixing greens. This is because we are very sensitive to green visually and also require a tremendous range for most types of work, from landscape painting to botanical illustration. The […]

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copy_palette4Whenever I give a demonstration of colour mixing I ask my audience where they experience the main difficulty. The answer is invariably the same – mixing greens. This is because we are very sensitive to green visually and also require a tremendous range for most types of work, from landscape painting to botanical illustration.

The way that we have been working, using the now-outdated Three Primary System, has made it almost impossible to mix the greens that we actually want – quickly, accurately and without waste.

Because of the difficulties most artists experience, the common approach is to rely on mixing various blues and yellows on a trial and error basis or, worse still, to purchase some of the ready made greens which may spoil your work as they fade or darken. It need not be like this as it is very easy to mix a vast range of predictable greens.


Before we start, I would ask you to accept the following

Mixing Greens Article

Pure blue and pure yellow do not exist, we do not even know what they look like. A varying amount of green is reflected by every blue and every yellow. Some reflect a lot, others a little. When we mix any blue and yellow, the blueness and yellowness, as such, disappear, leaving behind the green that they contained.

Let’s put this to the test, for the first mix I wish to produce a dull, dark green. I will start with a blue which is a poor ‘carrier’ of green, Ultramarine Blue. Ultramarine Blue reflects only a tiny amount of green. I will put this small amount of green onto the palette, you will notice that I am nor calling it blue, I am not interested in the fact that at the moment it looks blue, because the ‘blueness’ will disappear as soon as I add the yellow.


Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow Light – two poor carriers of green – for dark greens

copy mixgreens1_2

As I blend the two together the blueness and the yellowness disappear – leaving behind two small amounts of green. As only small amounts of green are left, the colour in the center of the range has to be a dark green. Both the blue and the yellow are placed into mixing wells which point away from the green position, indicating that the result will be a dark, dull green.


Hansa (Lemon) Yellow – a good carrier – and Ultramarine Blue – a poor carrier – for mid-intensity greens

Mixing Greens Article

In every case, by mixing one good carrier and one poor, I will end up with mid greens in the center of the range. One arrow shaped mixing well (the yellow) points towards the green position, the other, the blue, points away from it, indicating that the result will be a mid-intensity green. To increase the amount of green, to produce a mid intensity green, I have to select at least one good carrier of green. For this I will use the large amount of green in the Hansa Yellow and add to it the small amount of green in the Ultramarine Blue.


Cadmium Yellow Light – a poor carrier – and Cerulean Blue – a good carrier – for alternative mid-intensity greens

The School of Colour Mixing Greens Article

Let’s try a different combination for another type of mid intensity green. This time I will go back to the Cadmium Yellow Light, the poor carrier of green used in the first mix, but will change the blue to Cerulean Blue, a good carrier of green. Another range of mid intensity greens will emerge, slightly different from the last due to the nature of the pigments, but still mid greens, neither bright nor dark. Again, one arrow shaped mixing well points towards the green position and the other away from it, indicating the mid intensity green which will result.


Bright greens from the 2 good carriers (or reflectors) of green, Hansa Yellow & Cerulean Blue

The School of Colour Mixing greens Article

For bright greens, I need only to decide where the green is going to come from. When I mix two good carriers of green such as Cerulean Blue and Hansa Yellow, it does not matter that the blue and yellow, as such, will disappear, because they both leave behind large amounts of green. This is why the colour is brighter than the previous mixes. When using the mixing palette, if both the blue and the yellow point away from the green position the mix will be a dark green, if one is away and the other towards, it will be a ‘mid’ green. If both point towards, as in this case, the green will be relatively bright.


Even brighter greens as Phthalocyanine Blue is introduced

The School of Colour Mixing Greens Article

For a brighter green still, I need to look around for even better carriers. Although Cerulean Blue is a definite ‘blue green’ and a good carrier of that colour, Phthalocyanine Blue is an even better carrier. When I now mix Phthalocyanine Blue with the Hansa Yellow, the resulting greens will be even brighter, as the blue introduces even more green to the mix. Can you see that it is not a case of blue and yellow making green, but of the different blues and yellows which are available to us ‘carrying’ varying amounts of green?


It is the green which is left behind which gives the final colour. 

For those of you who have not read my book ‘Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green‘, this might seem like a rather unusual approach. But I can assure you, it is very easy to learn and you can gain complete control of colour mixing – not just of greens – in a very short time.


Just think – no more mud!

Place the Phthalocyanine Blue in the same mixing well that the Cerulean Blue would otherwise be in. Both are green-blues but this one reflects even more green.

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Leisure Painter Article https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/leisure-painter-article/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/leisure-painter-article/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 02:22:59 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=622 Market Link Art Materials, Reports, Trade News and Comment Compiled by Ingrid Lyon Leisure Painter Magazine Report: Paints from Michael Wilcox School of Colour I have been asked to produce a test report on a rather special range of paints produced by the Michael Wilcox School of Colour. Michael Wilcox is well known for his […]

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Market Link
Art Materials, Reports, Trade News and Comment
Compiled by Ingrid Lyon
Leisure Painter Magazine

Report:
Paints from Michael Wilcox School of Colour

I have been asked to produce a test report on a rather special range of paints produced by the Michael Wilcox School of Colour. Michael Wilcox is well known for his in-depth research into colour and for his brilliant publications on the subject. His famous book, Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green broke new ground and opened the eyes of its many readers to aspects of colour and paint manufacture, of which they were totally unaware. The Michael Wilcox School’s main product is information on all aspects of colour in the form of books, study courses, videos, etc., and it supplies its own line in paints for use in connection with these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colours in Nature https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colours-in-nature/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colours-in-nature/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:45:11 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=617   The schemes of nature are usually quite simple. In this example, violet-red plus green, together with their mixes and influence from the light provide the full picture. This simplicity can be adopted when it comes to the selection of the paints to employ. If any additional colours are required, they should, perhaps, be kept […]

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blackberries - colours in nature article

The schemes of nature are usually quite simple. In this example, violet-red plus green, together with their mixes and influence from the light provide the full picture. This simplicity can be adopted when it comes to the selection of the paints to employ. If any additional colours are required, they should, perhaps, be kept to a minimum.

Violet-red (from the flower-blue) colorings appears in the flower, the stems and around each immature berry.

The presence of chlorophyll modifies this redness, giving the range from the unmixed hue of the flower to the dulled violet-red of the stems and onto the brown around the fruit.

Many a painter would select 4-5 different colours to depict this range plus a further 3-4 greens to use when painting the leaves and darker background. 


swatchsheet17

Quinacridone Violet and Mixed Greens

When depicting such colours in a painting, the mixes provided by violet-red and a mixed green will give most of the required hues.

 


Quinacridone Violet and Phthalocyanine Green 

A Michael Wilcox School of Colour Article

The darks in the background can be added by mixing a little Phthalocyanine Green (or Viridian) with the same violet-red. When kept deliberately simple, harmony is available.

The range provided by just two colours, particularly if they are mixing complementaries, can be more than sufficient for many a piece of work, or a passage within that work.

If any additional colours are required they should be chosen with care and for sound reasons. Not just because they happen to be left over on the palette! 


autumnleavesAutumn Leaves Example

When leaves are damaged or the stems become loose, (as in the Autumn/Fall) the green Chlorophyll is restricted in movement. This triggers off certain chemical changes which lead to the yellows, oranges, reds and violets as shown above. The changes also lead to the amazing free colour show provided in the Autumn (Fall) in many countries.

When depicting such colours in a painting, it will aid colour harmony if the yellow used to paint the yellowing leaves is the same as that used when mixing the greens.

If the yellow of the damaged leaves leans towards orange, it will help if the greens are mixed from the same orange-yellow.

If the red-violet shown above in the leaf to the right, is also used in the stems we have another close relationship.

A further aid to harmony comes about as the yellow and violet are visual complementaries. This factor can be emphasised in a painting. Perhaps by touches of a slightly brighter violet, or the conversion of a few green leaves into yellows and violet.

Two colours can be enough for an entire painting, or certainly for passages within a painting. Three colours and we have a very wide range at our disposal. Four hues will give an enormous array to work with.

Five-six or more and most painters have lost control of colour harmony almost before commencing the work.

A restricted palette, used with thought and a little skill, offers the best opportunity for colour beauty. If you need help with colour mixing, let us know.


 

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Colour and Technique: June 2014 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-june-2014-2/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-june-2014-2/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:41:55 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=510 In the last newsletter I highlighted the fact that the European Union (the EU), is considering a ban on the use of cadmium based artist’s paints. The response to my request for your suggestions has been overwhelming. I have published a selection here as the advise is invaluable. Click here to read the full newsletter.   

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Cadmium

In the last newsletter I highlighted the fact that the European Union (the EU), is considering a ban on the use of cadmium based artist’s paints. The response to my request for your suggestions has been overwhelming. I have published a selection here as the advise is invaluable.

Click here to read the full newsletter. 

 

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Colour and Technique: May 2014 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-may-2014/ https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uk/colour-and-technique-may-2014/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:39:44 +0000 https://michaelwilcoxschoolofcolour.co.uktralia//?p=507 POSSIBLE EUROPEAN UNION BAN ON THE CADMIUMS The authorities concerned are considering a ban on the use of Cadmiums. As part of the process they are seeking the views of the public. So we have an opportunity to have a say on the issue. If the Cadmiums are banned in the EU, the US and the rest of the world will surely […]

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Paints

POSSIBLE EUROPEAN UNION BAN ON THE CADMIUMS
The authorities concerned are considering a ban on the use of Cadmiums. As part of the process they are seeking the views of the public. So we have an opportunity to have a say on the issue. If the Cadmiums are banned in the EU, the US and the rest of the world will surely follow. So all of our Members are urged to express their opinion.

Click here to read the full newsletter. 

 

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