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Old 10-21-2007, 11:25 AM   #1
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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The Munsell Student Color Set




Remember, how I was asking how to intensify chroma? Well this made me realize that although I use paints on a daily basis, mix some cool colors now and then, I still like to have more control over hitting that desired color right on, without lots of experimentation's.

After trying to figure out how to intensity chroma, it hit me that maybe it's time to take a step back,to make another leap forward. So back to school it is.

After some on-line reading I learned about the New Munsell Student Color set. (Apparently it has been around a while, it's just been revised.) This book teaches value and chroma recognition by having the student match up color chips in the right order. The text is very informative and sheds light into how color behaves by inviting you to do a series of exercises.

I have started to paint color chips and will be talking about this exercise in progress on my blog.

For anyone who sees any value in "value" this is a great exercise!
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Old 10-21-2007, 01:37 PM   #2
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Hi Enzie,
I am always curious to new theory's. They can be right or wrong, or something in between.

Why on earth would we want a new theory saying that the primary red is slightly towards blue, that is, containing both red and blue, and that the color wheel consist of 5 "primary" colors?

I have learned that the primary colors are the ones that can not be mixed from others, and that is yellow, red and blue.
The secondary colors are orange, purple and green and they are placed opposite their contrasts: blue / orange, red / green and yellow / violet in the color wheel.

I'd say that this is a false prophet and I advice to not waste your time on it. It simply does'nt make sense, only confusion.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:33 PM   #3
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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Quote:
I'd say that this is a false prophet and I advice to not waste your time on it
Quote:
In colorimetry, the Munsell color system is a color space that specifies colors based on three color dimensions, hue, value (lightness), and chroma (color purity or colorfulness). It was created by Professor Albert H. Munsell in the first decade of the 20th century.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Allan, you are welcome to stick to what work best for you. This post is meant for those who know about Munsell and like to learn more.

Fell free to learn more....

Just did a little check on SOG here is more:

The Munsell System for Artists
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:13 PM   #4
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Enzie,
I was only trying to be helpful. I learned about color mixing 40 years ago, I believe it was the Johannes Itten system.
If you want to teach paint mixing you will have to deal with only three primary's, yellow, red and blue, this is the basic of the theory.

When it comes to actually mixing the paints, we must first analyze the content of these three primary colors in the paint we want to use.

I know that there are other theory's on color. Isac Newton, Wolfgang Goethe and Munsell.
Newton insisted on having the green included because it was much visible in spectral light.
Goethe's originated in his observations of how light changes when seen through mist. The white turns yellow, then orange and red with increasing density , think of the sunset.
I think that it is interesting to learn about different approaches, it can be great inspiration.
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:48 PM   #5
Richard Murdock Richard Murdock is offline
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I've been looking for a downside to using Munsell since I started, because everything has one, right? I haven't found but one yet, and that is when I really hit a mix perfectly I am sometimes guilty of forgetting to clean the test bit off the chip because it blends in so well. Other than that, well, I haven't found any downside.

Allan seems to be bothered by the red/blue nature of Munsell's primary red, and goes on to talk about primaries being the colors that can't be mixed from others. That is just about any color at its highest chroma. That means there are perhaps 40 primaries.

Primaries make no difference to a painter, unless he/she is going to hamper themselves by attempting to mix all colors from three. It won't work. One could not mix a 10YR 8/14 from primary red and yellow. What about 5GY 7/12? That's a hard color to hit. Could I do it with primary blue and yellow? I don't think so, since the highest chroma mixes have to be perfectly clean and start as close as possible to the target mix. Since the primary blue is also at chroma 12, and 5GY 7/12 is a warm green-yellow it's likely that chroma would be lost using primaries to mix it. And then there are neutrals. The neutral mixes must also be very clean. How would Allan mix a value string of neutrals from just three primaries?

The idea of using primaries to mix all of ones' colors is wrongheaded. Why wouldn't one use a color that is close to the target color to mix with, instead of trying to create everything from three basic colors? Why not just put out an eye and tie a hand behind one's back? Munsell leads to clarity, not confusion.

The Munsell wheel is based on real pigments, so if you can find the target in the book it can be mixed.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:48 AM   #6
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Color wheelies

As I've mentioned many times here (more if you factor in the deletions) that I use the Munsell Color System as the basis of my color mixing in painting and teaching. My students are able to quickly grasp the concepts and transform their abilities to match what they see before them.

The traditional color wheel is limited because it is optically incorrect. The fact it is still widely used to teach students is amazing considering the Munsell Color Wheel is almost universally accepted in all industries dealing with color.
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:15 AM   #7
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Murdock
I've been looking for a downside to using Munsell since I started, because everything has one, right? I haven't found but one yet, and that is when I really hit a mix perfectly I am sometimes guilty of forgetting to clean the test bit off the chip because it blends in so well. Other than that, well, I haven't found any downside.

Allan seems to be bothered by the red/blue nature of Munsell's primary red, and goes on to talk about primaries being the colors that can't be mixed from others. That is just about any color at its highest chroma. That means there are perhaps 40 primaries.

Primaries make no difference to a painter, unless he/she is going to hamper themselves by attempting to mix all colors from three. It won't work. One could not mix a 10YR 8/14 from primary red and yellow. What about 5GY 7/12? That's a hard color to hit. Could I do it with primary blue and yellow? I don't think so, since the highest chroma mixes have to be perfectly clean and start as close as possible to the target mix. Since the primary blue is also at chroma 12, and 5GY 7/12 is a warm green-yellow it's likely that chroma would be lost using primaries to mix it. And then there are neutrals. The neutral mixes must also be very clean. How would Allan mix a value string of neutrals from just three primaries?

The idea of using primaries to mix all of ones' colors is wrongheaded. Why wouldn't one use a color that is close to the target color to mix with, instead of trying to create everything from three basic colors? Why not just put out an eye and tie a hand behind one's back? Munsell leads to clarity, not confusion.

The Munsell wheel is based on real pigments, so if you can find the target in the book it can be mixed.
Hi Richard,
I always like to discuss theory's so your reply is much appreciated.

First I would like to state that I believe that I can agree in most of the Munsell system. The grey strings and how colors are valued in the system. It's obvious that a yellow is lighter than red and blue.

But I just don't understand how you can nominate a mixed color to be a primary one and much less 40 primary's.

I don't use primary's to mix colors because I don't have them ! My blue is a bit reddish and my red is bluish plus a little yellow and so on, because I use the
availeble pigments Ultramarine blue and Crimson red and I have never thought about them as primary's - but I know where they are placed on the theoretical color system.
It's like a compas with North, South, East and West - I don't need to go there, but I know where it is.

I am still waiting to learn.

Marvin, could you please explane to me, in a popular way, what it means that "The traditional color wheel is limited because it is optically incorrect".
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:08 AM   #8
Richard Murdock Richard Murdock is offline
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Allan, using your definition of a primary color, one that cannot be mixed from another, there are more than 40 colors out at the extremes of chroma, and to mix them correctly one must start with colors as high or higher in chroma, and as close as possible to the target. Again, Munsell is based on pigment, not theory. We paint with pigments, not light.

There are many color theories, so I am not certain which theory you refer to when you say, "My blue is a bit reddish and my red is bluish plus a little yellow and so on, because I use the availeble pigments Ultramarine blue and Crimson red and I have never thought about them as primary's - but I know where they are placed on the theoretical color system."

There are reds -- such as in a strongly lit dark red rose -- that cannot be painted from any crimsom available, unless the painter is willing to accept lower chroma than is in the rose. Although ultramarine is very useful there are blues that cannot be painted from it.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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Hi Allan, it is very nice of you to offer your advise, but to call Munsell a "false prophet" and advising me to not waste my time, meant to me that you did not take the time to find out who Munsell is, what is theory is about and that you seem to think I don't know what I am talking about. IF my reply seemed defensive, it might be that I am overall getting a bit tired of having my patience tested.

Not one to believe in putting one system down over another, I offer what I have learned or am learning to those who are interested. I do not advocate following anybody's advise blindly, but recommend we each try new things to find out if there is anything to be gained that can be applied to the style we work in.

I am not teaching, nor preaching but sharing my knowledge and work progress as one artist to another. I have several readers on my blog who like to follow this experiment and I have labeled the posts "Lessons 1,2,3,etc to make the process easier to follow.

Knowledge is power! The more we know as an artist the better we can make educated judgments on how to improve our own work.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:57 AM   #10
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Allan,

Red and green are not true optical compliments. Close but no cigar. Using the principles of simultaneous contrast, if you place, for example, a red card against a white field the eye tries to balance out the color red with it's optical compliment. If the red card is removed there will be a blue green after image.

The Munsell color wheel is based on optical compliments: yellow-green and purple, blue-green and red, yellow-red and blue, red purple and green, and blue-purple and yellow.

According to Philip Hale's book about Vermeer, published in 1913, the Boston artists (Paxton et al) were familiar with this concept.
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