Directions for mixing pigments for the dark and middle range value segments have been added to the Color Wheel Pages.

Dark and Middle Value Ranges

Link to directions for Color Wheel Three – based on a seven step grayscale.

Link to directions for Color Wheel Four – based on a nine step grayscale.

The left side of the brain designs color wheels for the right side of the brain to acquire skills for use as an artist. Logic doesn’t always produce the results that the left side of the brain predicts.

An "I should have known that" moment

Although the colors of the images I post are not true to the actual color wheel due to my scanner and my processing of the images, it is still obvious that the values of the colors are not falling into place as I had planned.  I tried to keep the colors working from cool to warm / warm to cool, as is most familiar, while simultaneously presenting the colors by light to dark / dark to light.  What I love about creating these wheels is that I learn, either as a reminder or as something new, more about mixing colors and why I have encountered problems in the past when nixing pigments.  For me, learning more about the science of color and light has helped enormously.  Still, my left side of the brain refuses to get with the program.

I knew, based on previous color / value charts that the Manganese Blue would have to be moved to the other side of the greens.  Apparently I had applied both Viridian and Permanent Sap Green in a thicker layer on my original chart.  In this chart, the transparency of the pigment altered the value of the pigment and Sap Green appears darker in value than Viridian, something I will remember when painting. The second alteration that should have been made was the switch of the purple hue that results from mixing Alizarin Crimson with French Ultramarine Blue.  Of course it will be a darker value!  Even the left side of my brain should have known that. More light waves are being absorbed, or canceled out, resulting in a hue of darker value.

Another observation to be made by actually creating the wheel rather than just studying mine is the muted hue that results when the Cadmium Red Light is mixed with the Alizarin Crimson.  Why?  Because all three primaries have been introduced, neutralizing the color mixture.  Alizarin Crimson has red and blue.  Cadmium Red Light has red and yellow.  When all three primaries are present, a bit of everything is absorbed, resulting in a more neutralized, less saturated color.

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.

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.

If you think you might not have the endurance to complete both Color Wheels 3 and 4, please concentrate only on Color Wheel 4, the Color Wheel based on a nine step value scale.

Nine Step grayscale

Although there are ten (one inch) squares in this scale, I refer to it as a nine step value scale.  I don’t like even numbers.  I hardly ever use pure white in a painting unless it is a bit of the paper or canvas showing through.   Since I don’t use white, I don’t feel it is necessary to consider it a value step.  My lightest value is one with a hint of hue. I would never take the time required to create useful color wheels, charts and scales if they were based on even number gradations.  I’m just a bit weird that way.  If you like even numbers, by all means, include white. That will make your 7 step scale an 8 step scale and it will make your 9 step scale a 10 step scale.  Do whatever works for you to be happy during the multitude of hours it will take to complete these wheels.  These are not wheels to be created and tucked away in a corner.  They are meant to be used.  Following these two wheels, we will be creating some wheels that explore beautiful neutralized colors.

I find the nine step value scale to be the most useful, three steps for lights, three steps for mid-values and three steps for dark values.  The usefulness will become apparent in the next few lessons.  If you plan on making both the Seven Value Color Wheel No 3 and the Nine Value Color Wheel No 4 you will need to make two of the Grayscale strips, one with seven (or eight) steps and one with nine (or ten) steps

I suggest making large value scales blocks and cutting them into narrower strips for multiple uses.

7 step Value Scale grid on canvas

9 step value scale grid on canvas

I am showing these template grids with the additional bar for those of you who don’t mind even numbers.

I suggest painting these on canvas so that the scale is thin and can be placed under a glass palette when painting.  It can also be placed closer to the colors you are mixing so that evaluating the value of the color is easier.

Take you time and mix the values carefully until you are satisfied with the transition from one value step to the next.

You will use these grayscales for all of the lessons that will follow.

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.