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Always Mix Below the Mother Hue

Phil Caterino Posted: january 9, 2021 / Modified: january 12, 2021
Always Mix Below the Mother Hue
Color Space is something that Bob Gamblin invented and placed on his website. It is an awesome tool for artists. Check it out!

Once you have identified your color’s hue family, the more intense colors are found at the outer edges of the Hues. As colors move toward the neutral core, they become more muted. Moving up and down through Color Space, you change your color’s value and it gets lighter or darker. Black is at the bottom of Color Space. White is at the top.

Painters of the Renaissance were masters of value-based painting techniques because most of their colors lack intensity. The first dimension of Gamblin Color Space can be easily seen when you bring a Rembrandt to mind. His skill at controlling light and shadow allowed him to differentiate the image and create dimension. To paint in the Classical tradition, look for colors near the neutral core of Color Space, including Naples Yellow Hue or Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Venetian or Indian Red, Terre Verte. Consider using Flake White Replacement instead of lead-based whites.

To increase access to Color Space, include colors from the second dimension of Color Space, best represented by the Impressionists The furnaces of the Industrial Revolution gave 19th century painters a full array of colors in all hue families around the color wheel. For the first time, painters could paint directly with a full spectral palette of colors with great opacity and high intensity. To paint with an Impressionist’s palette, add Cobalt and Ultramarine Blues, Cadmium Red (replacing Vermillion), Cadmium Yellows and Viridian. Consider using Flake White Replacement. On the Gamblin Color Chart, look for other colors with high opacity.

The 20th century color revolution gave us Phthalo Blue and Green, the Hansa Yellows, Napthol and Quinacridone Reds. All colors of very high intensity and transparency, the modern colors are found on the outside edge of color space where they are revolutionizing the way artists create glaze layers. Modern colors retain their intensity in mass tone, tint and transparency until they are mixed with colors from different hues.

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