Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Michael Wilcox on Color Mixing

I have had these two books for several years now, and finally took the time to read them more or less thoroughly, and found myself using a new combination of pigments. Michael Wilcox emphasizes several aspects of color usage by artists.
The standard color wheel cannot work for color mixing, as there are no pigments that are "pure" red, blue or yellow. We have blue violet, red violet, red orange, orange yellow, green yellow, and green blue ... so he suggests six pigments that are light-fast and permanent. There are varying names for the paints, so he gives the pigment names.
These are technical reference books; I am finding the suggestions so helpful. I am re-working old paintings that I had considered failures, and finding that I really enjoy the new color schemes. A lot of his color suggestions involve using complementaries, which create lovely colors, from neutrals to variations of the original colors, when mixed in varying proportions.

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