Many years ago, I did my first set of colour charts. I was reading Richard Schmid’s ALLA PRIMA II Everything I know about Painting –and more and he talked about doing colour charts. He said that it took him two weeks to create them all but that the time he saved over the years was immeasurable. He also mentioned that his paintings took a giant leap forward because he could see the colours he was looking at and how to recreate them.
In lesson 4 it’s all about creating your very first colour chart. We will start with the paint directly out of the tube and add white. We are keeping it simple.
Now every paint is a different value out of the tube. Cadmium Yellow Light is the lightest value of all the paints (other than white) that we are using during this course. It is a value 9, so adding white means that we are only working from Value 9 to Value 10 (white). This will create very subtle value shifts.
But when we get to Ultramarine Blue, that is a different story. Its value out of the tube is 2, which is dark. The 6 spaces we are using represent much larger value jumps of this colour.
There are some other skills that we are developing as we make our charts. If you are just starting with a palette knife you know how awkward it feels. That changes with practice using it, and colour charts are a perfect way to ‘practice until perfect’. The second skill is learning to recognize value shifts, a valuable understanding as we learn to create the illusion of form.
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Yellowknife watercolour and acrylic artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree’s latest venture can best be summarized as capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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