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Old 01-05-2009, 07:35 PM   #21
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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I've merged this thread with another one Richard started on greys, just to gather all the information together.

A while back in the thread I gave a detailed description of how I decide on how to mix greys, but I want to add specifcally that I agree with Clayton: The first thing to do is determine the color of the direct light. This is very important because all color is generated by the color of the light.

The ambient or indirect light is somewhat redder (towards the red end of the spectrum) than the direct light. The color of the shadow will be the complement of the color of the ambient light. If you work with high chroma colors as i do, you can mix the shadow color with the color of the indirect light to make grey. That grey can be warmed up or cooled down as necessary by adding different amounts of the complementary colors. But even if you use other colors, like earth tones, as long as you are aware of the relationship between direct light, indirect light and shadow, and of the colors of each in a given setting, you should be able to mix convincing greys.

I don't recommend always relying on the same color mixtures to create halftones and shadow areas, because the colors of the light (and half tones and shadows) change from one setting to another!
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:38 PM   #22
Richard Monro Richard Monro is offline
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Clayton,

I whole heartedly agree. Color charts are invaluable. I first learned about them from reading Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima. I then spent the next two days making my own color charts. I keep them readily available next to my easel as can be seen in the studio shots posted here:

http://forum.portraitartist.com/showthread.php?t=8854

I also did some charts to study other color mixtures especially browns and grays. They are a great time saver and they are indeed attractive to look at.
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