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On March 10, 2010 I wrote a post on Polymer Clay Color Inspirations—Techniques and Jewelry Projects for Creating Successful Palettes, by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio. (Watson-Guptill, 2009) A reader, Cheryl, wrote in and asked if I could recommend a book on color theory using watercolor as the basic medium. I believe Haunani and Maggio […]
Left: A page from my journal showing a triad test: Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith's PB60) Indian Yellow (DS's Py108), and Terra Rosa (an iron oxide from M. Graham). Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Yesterday's post on Terra Rosa triggered my memory. I had posted this triad chart in an earlier post on journaling superstition #4: Each Page Must Be Perfect.
The image comes later in the post so I am repeating it here so that you don't have to scroll around and look for it. I wanted to post it today so that those of you who were intrigued by yesterday's post on Terra Rosa could see immediately how it mixes up in a triad situation with additional pigments, when the goal is not simply to get rich neutrals. (I do use color sometimes!)
What is a triad? Simply put triads are formed with 3 (hence "tri) colors that are equidistant on the color wheel. The primary colors Red, Yellow, and Blue form the most familiar triad but there can be triads using secondary colors. The key things about a triadic color choice are that the three colors are not direct complements (so blending them won't yield neutrals); and they are not analogous colors (those colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel) which means the mixing yields more variety than other color schemes. Finally, when mixing with a triad you can achieve some beautiful semineutrals that are not at all muddy.
Above: Chicken (sketch is Ziller Glossy Black Ink with dip pen on background painted with Indian Yellow FW Acrylic Ink; gouache)
This post is part two in the series: Project 640 Tubes
Readers will recall that I promised to suggest colors for a gouache palette when I started Project 640 Tubes.
(Note that for purposes of this discussion by "color" I mean the pigment in the paint, which I might refer interchangeably to by pigment number or by tube name because it's clear I'm discussing a particular brand. If you elect to buy a different brand of gouache than what I recommend you need to make sure you're getting the right pigment. The name on the tube can be the same across brands, but what the companies put in the tube in terms of pigments can be very different indeed. I recommend you only buy Schmincke and M. Graham Gouache, read the first Project 640 Tubes post for why.)