Portrait Artist Forum    

Go Back   Portrait Artist Forum > Techniques, Tips, and Tools


Reply
 
Topic Tools Display Modes
Old 12-31-2008, 08:38 AM   #1
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
Juried Member
 
Allan Rahbek's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: 8543-dk Hornslet, Denmark
Posts: 1,642
How do you measure value/color ?




I found this site about a measuring method for finding the correct mixture:

http://www.thecardermethod.com/students.html

It seems to be a clever way to compare the actual mixture on the palette, to the motif.

Has anybody tried this Carder Method ? I made the tool but have a problem with glare.

Mostly I find the values etc. by comparison directly between the motif and my painting, then mixing on the palette what I think is right and testing by placing a little dab on the painting.

I find it intriguing to be able to decite the correct value/color by comparing the mixture directly to the motif.

How do you find the correct value / color / intensity ?
__________________
Allan Rahbek
http://www.allanrahbek.dk
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 10:02 AM   #2
Amanda Grosjean Amanda Grosjean is offline
Juried Member
 
Amanda Grosjean's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Posts: 59
Hi Alan, I skimmed through that website but I am having a hard time finding what this method actually is or some sort of description of the tool. I either missed it or he wants you to buy his DVD. Perhaps you could give a little description or a link to where he describes his methods on the site?

To check my values I have a thin sheet of colored plastic (I prefer blue) that I view my painting and my reference at the same time with. It blocks out the colors and reduces it to values. When you view both the reference and the painting through it the problems pop out and you immediately see whether something on your canvas has too much contrast or not enough. I don't use it constantly, just once in a while to check up on how I did with the values. I am assuming this in not an uncommon practice but perhaps it is new to someone on this forum. The colored plastic I have is getting really scratched. I have tried to buy colored glass before through stained glass stores online but it ends up having a wave through it. If anyone also uses this method and has a link to a good source..please share!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 11:47 AM   #3
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
Juried Member
 
Allan Rahbek's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: 8543-dk Hornslet, Denmark
Posts: 1,642
Amanda,
Klick on the links to his video demos on the site.

Carder has made a piece of metal, about 4" long, with a round hole in the one end and at the tip in the other end he paint the color that he is mixing. Then he hold the Color Checker, as he call it, up so he can see both his mixed color and the color on the model through the hole in the Color Checker.

Pretty smart if you ask me!!!!

Directly measuring the paint he want to put on the painting with the color/value on the motif. If one can make it work.
__________________
Allan Rahbek
http://www.allanrahbek.dk
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 02:33 PM   #4
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
Juried Member
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Blackfoot Id
Posts: 431
Fortunately for all of us with opinions, just as in love and war, all's fair in art and painting. If you find a gizmo like Carder's tool useful, go for it! After all, the only thing that really counts is results !

Now for the annoying opinions - (and of course, mine are the correct ones! )
While looking into (or through?) a device like this may be profitable vis a vis what new perceptions of color and value may occur to the painter, the premise of using it to "match" paint to colors from the life overlooks the basic problem we encounter with color and value with all subjects each time we approach the easel. It appears to me using Carder's tool through the course of painting a picture would be cumbersome and slow in the extreme.

As color and values in nature run the gamut from looking directly into the sun to total darkness, the corresponding range on the palette from whitest white to deepest black is merely an infintisemal fraction of the natural range "in the life". It follows that painting a picture, one does not "match" color and value in the process of painting, but arranges reasonable approximations by manipulating the tiny range which paints provide to effect illusions from bright sun to stygian blackness.

Claude Lorraine was such a proponent of viewing subject matter through a blue glass (and a few other aids for perceiving color and value) that he lent his name to the "Lorraine Glass". Primarily he used blue glass to assess relative values for landscapes.

Another useful tool in the studio for appraising value relationships is a black mirror . . . a piece of glass painted black on one side, or black plexiglas will do.

The simplest way to assess value relationships in subject matter is to compare masstones from the life with a card printed with a gray scale in ten steps from white to black, guaging approximations of value from subject to palette. Another gray scale placed under a glass palette on the taboret makes paint-mixing easy. Paint sample cards from the paint store can be used as the relative scale.

Another useful "speed trick" (especially for portrait work) is to paint a patch of neutral grey, midpoint on the value scale on your arm palette. The most daunting task facing painters is to begin working on a stark-white canvas, as even relatively light values appear excessively dark . . . hence the popularity of working into a mid-value imprimatura toned to the color temperature of the subject or contrasting with it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 04:14 PM   #5
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
Juried Member
 
Allan Rahbek's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: 8543-dk Hornslet, Denmark
Posts: 1,642
wink

Richard,
I see your point about the value scale being wider out of doors while the actual paint has a limited scale.

But you seem to forget that, when you paint outdoors you will have to bring your paint with you and therefore it will be exposed for the outdoor light and the palette will widen its scale relating to the changed conditions, not?

I am after the "truth" and not you
__________________
Allan Rahbek
http://www.allanrahbek.dk
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
Juried Member
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Blackfoot Id
Posts: 431
Actually, my point is that the natural range of color values indoors or out is far,far wider than a range that may be achieved with paint. It's very true the range in nature becomes incredibly broader out of doors, (how much brighter is the sun than an artificial light?) but that doesn't widen the range intrinsic in paints . . . that range of values remains constant, the intensity of the ambient light it's reflecting not withstanding.

Actually, it may even narrow it further. Indoors, a given black may easily seem equivalent to "total darkness", but outdoors in strong sunlight it will reflect enough light that one can readily detect its color caste; it will certainly appear many value steps lighter than the total absence of light.

Partly, the difference between "life" and the palette owes to the physical differences between additive and subtractive light . . . paint, of course, is subtractive only.

Allan, I consider you a good online "buddy". I respect your work, and have never felt as if you're "after" me! We're both after truth, and I much enjoy the discussions.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 05:56 PM   #7
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
Juried Member
 
Allan Rahbek's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: 8543-dk Hornslet, Denmark
Posts: 1,642
Richard,

Think about the fenomen that; the eye adjust to any given light scale, from the lightest light to the darkest dark, and is always able to form a scale of values within the given conditions.

I am aware that the paint value scale is much more narrow than the scale of light.

I believe that it widens relativly as much as the outdoor light because; the reason why we see colors at all is that a given light source is shining light at it. Little or much, the relativeness will be the same.

Wil not the conditions for measuring, with a tool, be the same no matter the light conditions?

The colors we see are due to the additive light, it only becomes subtractive when we start mixing the paint.

Let's see how far we can take this topic, buddy.
__________________
Allan Rahbek
http://www.allanrahbek.dk
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2008, 10:36 PM   #8
Marcus Lim Marcus Lim is offline
Juried Member
Finalist, Int'l Salon 2006
 
Marcus Lim's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 324
Send a message via ICQ to Marcus Lim
Carder method = stitch of every artist's techniques

Hi Allan,
My two cents' worth of this Carder technique of assessing values is it's actually an amalgamation of various techniques from artists, and it's especially with those that our Forum members have discussed over the years. One particular tell-tale of this guy's technique is in his strategy to assess the colours at the early stages of his paintings - it reminds me of those that are professed by David Leffel, and Greg Kreutz, with a smack of Ted Seth Jacobs. So to me, it's another 'repackaged art technique'.

I also note the palette's transparent through a dark coloured carpet. So he's using the carpet colour as his 'grey card' to assess the colour values. This got me thinking - didn't i remember one of our Forum member sharing a tip, to use a grey paper underneath a glass sheet and it makes a great palette?

So to end, I would like to say that as great as this video is for many beginners, Forum members should be assured that all the things that he will say in the video - and more from our in-house experts like Michelle, Chris and William Whitaker - are already available here in our family of portrait friends, on the Portrait Artists' Forum.
__________________
Marcus Lim
Historian Painter, Singapore
Facebook Page
www.marcuslim.com
enquire@marcuslim.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 09:20 AM   #9
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
Juried Member
 
Allan Rahbek's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: 8543-dk Hornslet, Denmark
Posts: 1,642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Lim
This got me thinking - didn't i remember one of our Forum member sharing a tip, to use a grey paper underneath a glass sheet and it makes a great palette?
Hi Marcus,

You are right that Carder's tool is a combination of many other in use, for instance using the palette knife to hold up with the mix to compare colors.

I use a glass palette with a middle value color underneath it and I also had a gray scale underneath for a while. Now I find it a great help to know if I am in the lighter or darker side by comparing with the middle value of the palette.

Using any method of measuring values is especially helpfull in the beginning of the painting process. Later on is it easy to compare to the already established values.

My question was not only meant to be about Carder's tool but any effective measuring "trick". Speak up folks

Ps. I made a small still life using Carder's tool, and took the measurements litterally, I was surprised how wide the value scale had to be.
I can't post it here because it's not portrait.
__________________
Allan Rahbek
http://www.allanrahbek.dk
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 12:53 PM   #10
Debra Norton Debra Norton is offline
Associate Member
 
Debra Norton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2002
Location: Montesano, Washington
Posts: 236
I use the black mirror a lot. I know that judging values has always been a weak spot for me, so I'm extra careful about it. I make my own black mirrors by having gray glass cut for me and then put black contact paper on one side. These don't get scratched up like plexiglass will, plus they won't be wavy like I've seen with some plexiglass or plastic when I was in school. They're breakable, but I've only broken one in the six years I've been using them.

At least once in a painting I will take a photo of what I'm painting together with the painting and convert it to black and white to see if anything pops out at me.

When I was in school somebody came up with some little transparent colored plastic "thingys" to look through that were made for use in designing quilts. They came in red and green, similar to what Amanda described. We bought them at a quilt shop. You can't judge color by them, but one thing nice about them compared to a black mirror was that you could see the images more clearly, especially if it was a dark day.

I also discovered Carder's website a while back and made my own version of his tool. I cut a piece of acetate 1" x 4" and drew a square on one end with a Sharpie (so it doesn't disappear when I lay it on my painting cart). I put paint on this then hold it up to my set up or photo to check color and value.

Sometimes I just hold the loaded paint brush in front of the object and squint to see how it looks.

I have a very small studio right now so occasionally I take my painting out to another room where I can get farther (further?) away from it and get a different look. I also turn them upside down, or sideways, just to see if something pops out at me. Our brains get so used to seeing the painting that it thinks what it sees is "right." So I try to fool mine once in a while by doing things like this. I also tend to turn my paintings to the wall or leave them upside down on my easel when I'm not working on them. That way I have a fresh eye when I go back to them.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Topic: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Topic Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 

Make a Donation



Support the Forum by making a donation or ordering on Amazon through our search or book links..







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.