Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Color Studies - Color Blending

I am embarking on a research project to expand my knowledge of dye mixing. I was inspired by the color blending exercises I did with paint.
We all know that mixing together complementary colors (red/green, yellow/violet, blue/orange) gives you brown, right? In theory, yes. In practice, you get a wide range of colors, some browns and some duller, earthier versions of the unmixed colors. Since I prefer earth tones, I thought it would be helpful to prepare color studies by blending the primaries with their complements. I do that now to get earth tones, but I wanted to do a controlled test to see the range from one color to the other. In addition, I am using a new set of primaries for these tests. I had been using a set of warm primaries and a set of cool primaries to mix all my colors. As part of the Artcloth Mastery Program, we are using one set of primaries that are very close to the "pure" color wheel primaries. So I am not as able to predict my outcomes as I would be using my normal primaries.

I used Procion MX dyes and did a 5 step gradation between each color. The blue/orange combination yielded some of the best browns.

The browns from the yellow/violet combination were ok, although I didn't find them as rich as the blue/orange browns. I normally use a warm yellow to make browns with violet and they come out quite different than the colors below.

The red really dominates the blends of red/green. In order to get a nice deep earthy green, it's obvious from this experiment that you wouldn't need much red!

My next step will be to do the same blending exercises with the secondary and tertiary colors on the color wheel. I may also do some more experiments with the primaries using a larger gradation. I'll post photos when I get that completed.

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