Project 2 – Exercise 3: Opaque colour mixing

I was wondering which of my previous color gradation I should use to match with an opaque mix.

My goals for this exercise are: working in oil and acrylic, understanding better transparent versus opaque painting, managing challenges of color transitions.

 

My starting point for this exercise: 
a. Oil: Ultramarine and violet (simple and two color gradation)
b. Acrylic: Hansa yellow/Phtalo blue and Cd Yellow and Ultramarine (simple and two color gradation)

Stefan513593 - Project 2 - Exercise 3 - starting point

Stefan513593 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – starting point

 

My working approach:
1. Pre mixing opaque color values,
2. Applying side by side,
3. Blending with dry brush. C
4. Comparison with transparent gradation.

Stefan513593 - Project 2 - Exercise 3 - working in oil

Stefan513593 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – working in oil

=> For the first test I tried to blend the mix with white directly on the support. But than I found out that pre mixing some values first, laying them side by side not the support and the blend the transition area with a dry brush works much better, smoother and more effective.

Results in oil: opaque and transparent Ultramarine gradation (simple)

Stefan513593 - Project 2 - Exercise 3 - ultramarine and zinc white (oil)

Stefan513593 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – ultramarine and zinc white (oil)

 

Results in oil: opaque and transparent Violet/Ultramarine gradation (two color)

 

Stefan513593 - Project 2 - Exercise 3 - ultramarine/violet and zinc white (oil)

Stefan513593 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – ultramarine/violet and zinc white (oil)

 

Results in acrylic: opaque and transparent Hansa Yellow gradation (simple)

Stefan513593 - Project 2 - Exercise 3 - Hansa yellow (acrylic)

Stefan513593 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – Hansa yellow (acrylic)

 

=> so far I was pleased with my approach, taking the learnings from previous exercises (blending transitions). I was ready to move on towards too color opaque mixing in acrylic.

Results of two-colour gradations in acrylic :

Stefan513593 - Project 2 - Exercise 3 - Hansa yellow/Phtalo Blue and ultramarine/Cd yellow (acrylic)

Stefan513593 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – Hansa yellow/Phtalo Blue and ultramarine/Cd yellow (acrylic)

Comment: the photograph does not show the real visual perception I have with the original image

 

My challenges to overcome:

Ex3_Opaque color mixing_Stefan513593_Page_7

  • Initially I applied first an opaque color gradation with white of one color and after drying applied the second color. Big mistake as this is completely different to transparent gradations. The second color mix with white jut covery the first color completely. Should have been clear in the first place. Lesson learned!

 

=> Rethinking my approach I applied similar working approach as I did with single gradation. Pre-mixing color in the transition areas with both color and white. It was a bit difficult to judge the correct value though. To use our color only and how much white I need to use. With time I felt more comfortable in finding a good color mix that would match somehow the transparent two color gradation. Nevertheless I couldn’t get a match at all as the white just shifts the color!

 

Learnings:

  • Mixing opaque color mixes is quite different than transparent color mixing. At times more difficult. The results are quite different as well. With opaque mixing one has to mix three color actually: the two pure colors and white. Overlaying as with transparent doesn’t work at all.
  • White shifts the hue of one color.
  • Pre mixing colors is key in opaques color mixing. By that the painting process gets smoother and the blending is easier to be done.
  • In opaque mixing ultramarine and Cd yellow gives rather a dull mix. Compared to y more luminous green transition on transparent mixing.
  • In general transparent color gradations (mixing) gives a more luminous visual perception. This woul be beneficial for a more atmospheric appeal and to obtain more visual depth.
  • Opaque color mixes have more body and give a solid perception. This would be beneficial for rendering sold objects.
  • A combination of both techniques could work well when building up forms, object and to superimpose glazes of various colors to increase visual depth and variety in surface perception.

Next time:

  • Trying other opaque blending techniques (see my research in Project 1, Ex1 – click here): Spacing, stumbling, optical color mixing
  • Using learned experience in future paintings. Considering longer drying time in oil when combining.

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