This weeks video I am making a YRMBCG aka "YURMBY" Gurney Colour Wheel. What does YRMBCG work out to you ask? Yellow/Red/Magenta/Blue/Cyan/Green is the answer! This colour wheel is based on a 6 primary colour system of Cyan/Magenta/Yellow (CMY) and Red/Blue/Green (RBG). Photography and printing use the CMYK (K = Black) set of colours in their processes and the RBG colour set is used in computers and lighting as their primaries.
I found the idea of working with 6 primary colours fascinating. There is a lot of information as I move forward that I hope to explore and dabble in. I have begun a new playlist on YouTube called "Playing with Colour". My plan this winter to just to play. Playing with different paint combinations where I will have fun with value scales charts, complimentary combination charts and, do a range of colour studies too.
In the ten years since I started painting full time I have not done much playing. I have worked hard to understand a limited palette of warm/cool paint colours as quickly as I could. This allowed me to really focus on design, value, chroma, and brushwork. I think I have gained enough skills that it is time to go back to playing for a bit and see how I can expand my skills in new directions.
There is great learning in being playful which allows one to learn new things. It turns out if a person is just playing, there is no expectation of success. What a pleasing way to bring old ways and new ways together. I hope you will join me in this delightful exploration. It is going to be a lot of paint mixing which always makes my heart beat faster!
With that in mind...let's get going.
Supplies needed: 23x30cm (9x12in) inexpensive watercolour paper
The first step is to draw the outside diameter of the circle 21cm (8 1/2in), find the centre 10.5cm (4 1/4in). For all the other measurements download the middle image as it has all the dimensions to help create the colour wheel. The far right is the completed Blank Colour Wheel that is ready to start working with.
Paint the 3cm centre circle with Neutral Grey Value 5.
The paint colours I chose to use for this colour wheel are: Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson Hue (Liquitex), Quinacridone Magenta, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Permanent Green Light.
Cyan/Magenta/Yellow - Cobalt Teal/Quinacridone Magenta/Cadmium Yellow Light.
Red/Blue/Green - Cadmium Red Medium /Ultramarine Blue/Permanent Green Light.
The vast majority of the paint I use is Golden Acrylic Heavy Body paint, unless noted.
You will notice in the video that I am lowering the chroma of the Cadmium Yellow Light (CYL) with the neutral grey as I have done before, but this time I am stepping down the value in the neutral greys as well as the chroma until the last mixture is close to the middle circle which is nearing Value 5. CYL starts off as Value 9, I use the corresponding value in the first chroma adjustment. There are 9 steps in the after that I use Value 8 twice, Value 7 twice, Value 6 and then to Value 5 which matches the centre of the colour wheel.
Cadmium Orange starts at a Value 7, which is also the value that has the highest Chroma. The first few steps are with Neutral Grey Value 7, then on to 6 and the last few are done with Value 5.
Now we are on two different reds. On the left is Cadmium Red Medium (CRM) which is the one I finally chose, though I did oscillate between Cadmium Red Light and CRM in the video. So if your preference is Cadmium Red Light, you are more than welcome to use it. Cadmium Red Medium starts at a Value 4 and at that value is the highest level of chroma. I used Value 5 Neutral Grey to lower the chroma in both the reds.
The second red is Alizarin Crimson Hue (Liquitex). The value right out of the tube is 2, but the most chromatic point is when the Alizarin is at Value 4. Now you will notice that I put too much grey as I was mixing down. I didn't think about the fact that I used white to bring up the paint up value 2 steps and really needed to be more careful with adding the grey in. It turns out that if the pigment is full strength then adding lots of neutral grey make sense. But if the pigment has been softened with white, it requires a much smaller amounts of neutral grey to lower the chroma.
The next two colours are Quinacridone Magenta and Dioxazine Purple. Both these colours need to be brought up to a Value 4 which is the most chromatic point for them. I am still using Value 5 in the Neutral Grey to change the chroma.
The left side is Ultramarine Blue, using white to bring it up to Value 4 from Value 1. Continuing on with the Value 5 Neutral Grey as we go down the sections towards the centre.
The second blue I created is a mixture of Ultramarine Blue (V-1) and Cobalt Teal (V-6) mixed to a value 4 before I began the journey to lower the chroma.
Cobalt Teal is on the left. Straight out of the tube is is Value 6. I used Neutral Grey Value 6 at the start of the string but about the 4th step I moved to the Neutral Grey Value 5 to the centre of the Colour Wheel.
Now we mix Permanent Green Light with the Cobalt Teal. Both colours are value 5, which is why I chose the Permanent Green Light over Phthalo Green Blue (V-1), which would have worked perfectly fine. But why do the extra mixing because I would have had to add white to bring the value up to 4. It turns out that if there is another option that gets one to the place they want to be faster, then take it for simplicities sake. One goal is to keep things as simple as possible.
Well here we are at the final two sections of our Gurney Colour Wheel. On the left is Permanent Green Light (V-5) as we step down the chroma.
The last segment is a combination of Permanent Green Light (V-5) and Cadmium Yellow Light (V-9). We will mix these two together until the mixture is at Value 7. Now we have to remember that the first two or three will be done with the Neutral Grey Value 7 to change the chroma, then move to Value 6, and finally the last three are with Value 5.
And here is the final colour wheel. I do have some plans for using this colour wheel in future videos...watch for it in the spring.
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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