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Old 12-11-2005, 02:42 PM   #1
Richard Budig Richard Budig is offline
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Speak to me about yellow. . . .




I see several folks who mix a dark(er) yellow using raw umber. They start with raw umber, and bit of yellow ochre, and continue lightening with yellow ochre for a step or two, and then begin lightening yellow ochre with white. It works well, but can anyone explain why?

It doesn't seem like it would happen this way, but when you use this really "dark" version of yellow with a red, you get a really dull orange, so I guess the yellow component is there, hiding in that dark mix.

I would appreciate anything anyone can tell me about this, or any other curious mixture.
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:02 PM   #2
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Richard, I use yellow ochre as my flesh "mother color" and it is wonderful to use it to lighten darker colors (i.e., shadows) without colors going chalky (as they would if you lightened with a white). (You lose transparency, though.)

I'm also interested in how other painters do this, and thanks for bringing this up.
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Old 12-11-2005, 06:22 PM   #3
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Richard,
Raw Umber is basically a dark yellow. If you want to darken a yellow with black you need to add some red to prevent it to turn greenish.
Just like Terra De Sienna is a dark orange and Indian Red is a dark red.
Allan
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:45 AM   #4
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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I like to mix a scales of Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Yellow of Napoles and mixed White. Then I add Cerulian Blue to get it cooler, Ultramarine Blue to get it darker (I never use Black); and Cad Reds to get it warmer.
Ps. I never mix Yellow of Napoles with Cerulian Blue because it contains sulfur. I love Alizarin Crimson, but it gets brown with time.
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Is it really the raw umber?

Hi Richard,

I am very aware that raw umber is considered a yellow, but for the life of me I do not understand why. Maybe if you compare it to burnt umber, or burnt siena, it's less red, but I think classifying it as a yellow is just a way of forcing it into a category instead of appreciating it for what it is: a cool earth tone.

I tried some mixtures along the lines of what you describe, and I think it is the yellow ochre mixed with the red that is creating the orange, while the raw umber is creating the dullness. By itself, mixed with just white, raw umber is a warm neutral, or a cool brown-grey.

Alex
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Old 12-12-2005, 04:40 PM   #6
Carlos Ygoa Carlos Ygoa is offline
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I agree with Alexandra. The umbers should just be classified as earth tones..."tierra de sombra" is the name for umber here (earth shadow?). I don
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:48 PM   #7
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra Tyng
I am very aware that raw umber is considered a yellow, but for the life of me I do not understand why.
I guess that it was a question of color family relations more than the degree of it ?
I have learned that there are only three totally different colors, blue, red and yellow and that all other colors are mixtures from them + more or less light.
I still believe that the Raw Umber belongs to the yellow family. To prove my point I have put up mixtures of blue, red and yellow. The Raw Umber is only mixed with Titanium White but stil shows the yellow characteristic, I think.

Allan
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:41 PM   #8
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Hey, Allan, I didn't mean to start an argument! I guess it is a matter of perception. I know that to many people, raw umber looks like it is in the yellow family. You are probably in the majority here. But to me, when I look at it, all I see is a neutral earthy tone. When I think of yellow, I think of sunlight and warmth. But raw umber is dull, opaque, and rather cool to my eye. Don't get me wrong, I respect your perception of it, but as hard as I try I can't see it! I guess that's why different artists use different colors.

Alex
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:17 PM   #9
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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I think that Raw Umber varies substantially from company to company. Anybody want to post theirs here?

We should ask Garth "The Tube Collector" Herrick, he probably has most major brands of Raw Umber in one of his drawers.
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:15 PM   #10
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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check Speak to me about Raw Umber

Yes Linda, I found seven tubes of "raw umber" handy to compare. They are each unique and special in their own way and will impart different results in mixtures on the palette. I drew these color out with a knife on a sheet of mylar, then made three levels of tints using Robert Doak Flake White + Glass (flake white with ground glass mixed in).

1. Good old Winsor and Newton: not a very interesting raw umber, it is the darkest and most oily out of the tube and by far, the weakest in tinting strength; so there is low pigment content in their formula.

2. Schmincke Mussini Umbra Cypr. Natur: much more interesting color, dramatically more infused with color than the above example; still not all that much in pigment concentration or tinting strength.

3. Schmincke Mussini Umbra Natur Hell: This is truly a rich deep yellow, being somewhere in between a raw umber and a raw sienna. It's the lightest and most colorful of these umbers; same in tint strength as the previous example.

4. Holbein Raw Umber: This is a classic raw umber much like the darker Mussini above. It clearly is a high quality product with significant tinting strength and higher pigment load.

5. Schmincke Norma Umbra Natur Grunlich: This is a fantastic light shade of raw umber with a decidedly greenish cast, and surprisingly, unlike the Mussini tubes, it has incredible tinting strength and pigment load.

6. Vasari Raw Umber: A super high quality product made by one man in his New Jersey shop and sold at one venue in Manhattan, NYC. This is a dark raw umber of incredible tinting strength and the highest in pigment concentration of these tubes. It is what you should be using if you like the color variety of the Winsor and Newton raw umber but hate the low quality.

7. Old Holland Raw Umber: This is a warm and colorful raw umber, similar in tinting strength to the Mussini tubes.

I hope this helps with the accompanying illustrating photo; thanks to Linda for nudging me into action.

Garth
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