Color Charts

I have updated the pages showing the directions for Step Five of Color Wheels Three And Four.

Step Five, Color Wheel Four

Link to Directions for Color Wheel Three

Link to Directions for Color Wheel Four

Tom donated his grandfather’s silver cigarette case to the cause….. Peerless Water Color Paper Color Scheme Sheets.

Sheets of various color schemes

All of these fit neatly into the small cigarette case that fits nicely into the pocket of my jeans.

Inside of cigarette case

Each sheet is a different Triad Color Scheme.  Far better use for the case than storing cigarettes, don’t you think?

I ordered these wonderful Peerless Watercolor Papers from Creative Mode.

Just as I was about to upload files ….. we lost power.  I hope to upload the directions, step five, tomorrow.

Color Wheels 3 & 4 Step Five

Sorry for the delay.

I omitted a step in this morning’s directions for painting the Warm Blue segments of Color Wheels Three and Four.

Mixing value for middle ring of Warm Blue Segment

Please check the corrected directions:

Link to directions for Color Wheel Three – Seven Step Value Scale

Link to directions for Color Wheel Four – Nine Step Value Scale


The directions for creating Color Wheel Four, based on a Nine Step Value Scale is now posted on a page listed under color exercises.

Nine Step Value Scale for Color Wheel Four

I will continue to add steps to the page until the color wheel is complete.  Link to Color Wheel Four directions.

The Directions to beginning Color Wheel Three are now posted.

Color Wheels Three Grayscale

I am posting the directions for Color Wheels Three and Four on Pages rather than Posts.  Click on the link to view the directions.  I will continue to add color mixing directions to the pages every couple of days until the Color Wheels (both Three and Four) are complete.  Directions for Color Wheel Three.

Just a sneak peak….. I’m having trouble teaching myself to add text in Gimp on my new computer…..

Starting with Yellow

I will post the directions for creating Color Wheels Three and Four on separate pages under the Color Exercises Tab.  I finally figured out how to add the text to the templates.  Directions should be up by Saturday afternoon.  Hopefully you have completed making the 7 step and 9 step value charts suggested in a previous post.  You will need those to create both of the Color Wheels.

Painting from Color Wheel Number two has left me craving mid to light value blues and purples.  My craving led me to stay up late last night designing the most ridiculous color wheel I can imagine. Absolutely no one would have listened to my gentle encouragement to stick with it and create one, even sipping wine or scotch.  When I finish painting mine, I’ll post it so you all can have a good chuckle. Don’t hold your breath.  It might be 2012 before I complete it.

Planning Colors Wheels 3 & 4

After last night’s leap into the world of the absurd, I awoke with an alternate plan for the next two color wheels.  Number 3 will be based on a Seven Step Value Range using eight pigments to mix twenty one hues.  Number 4 will be based on a Nine Step Value Range using the same eight pigments to mix twenty one (slightly different) hues.  The goal is to recognize the hues and values in terms of Light Value, Middle Value and Dark Value.

I had forgotten how many color wheels, color charts and color samples I created during the last two years.  I ended up using information from all of them to create the design plan for Color Wheels 3 and 4.

The second color wheel that you will make requires eighteen colors.  For our purposes, choose pigments that can be applied directly out of the tube.  I would have been able to do this if I hadn’t misplaced my Cinnabar.  Though most people think of cinnabar as a red, in oil paint, it is a lovely shade of yellow green.

Eighteen Hue Color Wheel

To evaluate the intrinsic value of each hue I have used oil paints for the color wheels in both Lesson One and Lesson Two.

Draw a 7″ diameter circle.  Using a protractor, carefully mark off 20 degree segments.  With the same yellow you used for the Color Wheel in Lesson One, paint one of the segments. Moving counter-clockwise, skip two segments and paint the next with the same orange you used for the Color Wheel in Lesson One.  Skip two segments and paint the next with the red you used before.  Skip two and paint the next with the purple you used before.  Skip two and paint the next with the blue you used before.  Skip two and paint the next with the green you used before.  Skip two and you find yourself at the yellow.  Well done!

Digging through your supply of paints, or mixing if you have to, paint the segment to the left of the yellow with a yellow/orange color.  Paint the segment to the right of the yellow with a yellow/green pigment (this is the one I would paint with Cinnabar if I could find it).  Work your way around the color wheel…paint thinly but opaquely.

Yellow/Green ….. Yellow …. Yellow/Orange …. Orange/Yellow …. Orange …. Orange/Red …. Red/Orange …. Red …. Red/Purple …. Purple/Red …. Purple …. Purple/Blue …. Blue/Purple …. Blue …. Blue/ Green …. Green/Blue …. Green …. Green/Yellow.

Whew…… That was incredibly labor intensive, wasn’t it?  I hope you had a glass of wine or single malt scotch handy and that you had your favorite music playing.

18 hue color wheel and grayscale mode

Let that dry for a day or two.  Place your grayscale overlay on top of the color wheel and determine the intrinsic value of each hue.  Scan or photograph the overlay on the wheel and transform it into grayscale mode.  See how accurately you evaluated the values of each hue.

color wheel with grayscale overlay

Try the overlay wheel in all three positions: covering the primary and secondary hues, covering the hues to the right of each primary and secondary, covering the hues to the left of each primary and secondary.

If you have made it this far I applaud you!  You have set the foundation upon which to build an understanding of color.  By understanding color, it becomes a tool that will bring you both joy and frustration, but mostly joy.  You will begin to understand how the sun and the sky work together to paint the landscape of our world.  Not only will you begin to understand it, you will be able to paint it with confidence and pleasure.  With the confidence gained by the ability to paint what you see, you will be able to expand reality, transforming it into what you imagine and what you feel.

I will jump back and forth between the science of color and the artist’s application of color.

During the next two weeks I will post examples of painting from these two color wheels before moving on to Lesson Three.  I want to make sure that everyone has time to complete both color wheels as well as the value scale overlay.

The Colors I used are as follows:

Yellow: Cadmium Yellow Light Hue (Couleurs a l’Huile)

Yellow / Orange: Cadmium Yellow (Winsor & Newton)

Orange / Yellow: Cadmium Barium Orange (Permanent Pigments)

Orange: Cadmium Orange (Winsor & Newton)

Orange / Red: Winsor Orange (Winsor & Newton)

Red / Orange: Cadmium Red Light (Winsor & Newton, Winton)

Red: Grumbacher Red (Grumbacher)

Red / Purple: Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor & Newton)

Purple / Red: Mauve (Grumbacher)

Purple: Ultramarine Violet (Winsor & Newton)

Purple / Blue: French Ultramarine Blue (Winton)

***Blue / Purple: French Ultramarine Blue (Winton) mixed with Cobalt Blue (Winsor & Newton)

Blue: Cobalt Blue (Grumbacher)

Blue / Green: Phthalo Turquoise (Winsor & Newton)

Green / Blue: Viridian (Winsor & Newton, Winton)

Green: Permanent Green Light (Winsor & Newton)

Green / Yellow: Cadmium Green Pale (Winsor & Newton)

Yellow / Green: Cinnabar if I had it…. I mixed Cadmium Green Pale (Winsor & Newton) with Cadmium Yellow Light Hue (Couleurs a l’Huile)

*** The Blues and Purples are a challenge to present in oil.  The warm and cool characteristics of the blues and purples are more apparent in watercolor. (See the Color Wheel below)  I want the wheel to show the ability of the  purples and blues to carry the lower end of the value range when applied in full saturation.  Manganese, Cerulean and Cobalt Violet are fabulous colors.  In full saturation, however, they are lighter in value than cobalts, ultramarines, prussians and phthalos.

Color Wheel in Watercolor

As I mentioned in Lesson One, move on.  Don’t let the imperfections stop you from completing the task.  This watercolor Color Wheel is one I painted almost forty years ago when I was attending a school for Commercial Arts.  Clearly, I had problems with the orange segments ( and others ).  I still have this wheel because it has been incredibly useful to me over the years, in spite of its imperfections.

I’m finding that my scanner interprets the colors in its own way.  Please take the time to make your own color wheels.  I promise that you will be glad you did.  Pour another glass of wine and enjoy the music.

The first part of Lesson one was to create a color wheel showing full intensity of primary colors (yellow, red and blue) and secondary colors (orange, purple and green).  See previous post: Color as Value Lesson One.

The second part of lesson one is to make a value scale overlay that will be used for the color wheel in Lesson One as well as the color wheel you will create for Lesson Two.

Using a compass, draw a circle one inch larger in diameter than the circle you made for your first color chart.  My color chart is 7″ in diameter.  My value scale overlay is 8″ in diameter.  Within that circle, draw another circle the same diameter as your color wheel (7″).  Draw an inner circle 1/2″ in diameter.  Divide the section between the inner circle and the 7″ circle into eight equal bands of circles.  Paint the first band black and leave the outer band white.  Paint each of the inner six bands a progression of gray value.

Grayscale overlay for Color Wheel

With a protractor, Mark off the circle to form pie shapes alternating 25 degrees and 35 degrees. Using a razor or #1 knife, cut out the 35 degree sections leaving the outermost circle intact.  Place the grayscale overlay on top of your color wheel.

First Color Wheel with grayscale overlay

Squint at the color wheel with overlay to determine the intrinsic value of each primary and secondary hue.  If you have access to a scanner, scan the wheel with overlay (or photograph it) and change the mode to grayscale in your computer.

Grayscale mode

Compare what you thought the value of the hue is to what the grayscale mode shows as its value.

Practice Exercises:

There is little point to spending so much time making color wheels unless you put them to good use.  With your focus on value, not hue, take one or two objects and paint them using only the six pigments, full strength, that you used to paint the color wheel.  I have posted a few examples and will add more as time goes by.  Feel free to send me your images if you wish them to be considered for posting on the page of examples for Lesson One.

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