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Old 10-26-2007, 12:37 PM   #21
David Clemons David Clemons is offline
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Pardon me if what I'm about to say is stating the obvious, but I just want to present my thoughts on using Munsell, or any color system for that matter. His is a system based on representing color in a three dimensional tree, not just two as is shown in color wheels. It's possible to create a wheel from his system, but it would be a disection of a 3-D sphere of aligned hues. Most other systems don't acknowledge value (darker and lighter ranges)at all in their structure.

His system centers around the afterimage affect of light perception (stare at a red dot and you'll see a blue-green afterimage,) and his arrangement of five principal colors reflects this affect in terms of a linear balance of opposites.

Balance is a key word to understanding his sytem in that it shows linear gradations for each of the color properties along an axis, the center being a neutral gray. As such, he was able to construct an accurate notation system on a grid to catalog each color chip so it could be easily recreated.

All of the color systems have certain limits. If they're based on light, painters don't use light, but rather pigments which don't mix in the same way. Mixing red and green light makes yellow. Also any system based on colored light that represents itself using printed pigments, is working with a limited construct. Conversely, if the system is based on pigments, which pigments and in what mixture? New pigments are constantly being developed and introduced, and paint companys make their products differently without any standarization. It's like, we have a system, but now how do we use it?

The challenge for painters is to learn how their pigments mix together. Even Munsell doesn't tell you how certain pigments behave. That's up to you to learn how to handle, and to deal with their limitations, not to mention how to modulate the color optically on the canvas with underpainted colors, how neighboring colors affect it, etc.

There's a good book I would recommend by Edith Feisner called "Color Studies" that presents an overview of various systems and basic colro principles rather clearly in an applied manner.
David Clemons

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Old 10-26-2007, 01:05 PM   #22
Richard Monro Richard Monro is offline
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Enough Sharon

First my apologies to the rest of my forum members, but this needs to be addressed.

Sharon, I believe you owe Marvin and the rest of the forum members an apology. We have all entered into this forum for the purpose of helping each other and have agreed to not attack or denigrate our fellow members. Your last sarcastic comment toward Marvin was totally uncalled for and did not advance the purpose of this thread in any positive direction.

I have stopped active participation in this forum, principally because of your unbecoming personal attacks and overbearing opinions that tend to give the impression that other forum members are of lesser ilk if we do not adopt your views.

Sharon, you are technically brilliant and have much to offer to this forum if you can do it in a positive, upbuilding way. I don
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:13 PM   #23
Richard Monro Richard Monro is offline
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My last post may not make sense as I see that Sharon's post has been pulled from the thread. Thank you to who ever pulled the post. It did not belong here.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:44 PM   #24
Richard Monro Richard Monro is offline
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I am sure that your apology is appreciated by all. Also your good judgment in pulling your post. Above all I appreciate your humility in this matter. Thank you. We all learn all the time.
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:23 PM   #25
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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I have noted that the Munsell system is based on the visual contrasts that occur after looking at a color for a while and then removing it.
I have done some testings and to me it appears that all the after pictures tend to be relatively cool, no matter if it is the after picture from a cool or hot color. Maybe that is because the after picture is a genuine contrast, which means that it is also contrasting the value, and the after picture is always relatively lighter.

when painting we would not always want a lighter and cooler contrast, so how would this special bias on the Munsell wheel serve us?

I have no problems making neutrals from the RYB system. Al i have to think about is the contend of the three colors. I will attach a scale of red yellow mixtures to illustrate what I mean.
The top mixture is The bluish red ,Permanent Red + the bluish yellow, Cadmium Yellow Lemon. Because of the blue element in the mixture the orange hue has been lowered.

In the bottom example both mixing colors are without the blue element, closer to the goal so to speak.
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:31 PM   #26
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
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Originally Posted by Sharon Knettell
. . . my post did not advance this thread . . .
It takes a "big" person to apologise, Sharon. You're tops!

I will disagree with you to the extent that while some adopt Munsell's ( and others') color theories with an ardor bordering religious, it's well worth to consider, how indeed did the master painters in other eras "get by" with out 'em ? (we stand on the shoulders of giants)
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:09 PM   #27
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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Allan, you got some nice mixes there. I am going to give them a try when I get my yellow string finished. I got another commission, with a less than desirable reference and haven't had a chance to continue the color studies. But I wanted to get back to you and thanks you for posting these samples.
Enzie Shahmiri
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:28 PM   #28
Richard Monro Richard Monro is offline
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Your example points out why the Real Color Wheel can be of benefit to all of us. It is a wheel in which actual artists colors are noted. Thus we can instantly see if a tube color is fully saturated or grayed somewhat. It also helps us decide which tube colors we can us to help us create a true neutral or even a high quality black. In most cases we won't have a true complimentary tube color available to neutralize a color we have. The real color wheel can then help us choose some split complimetary tube colors to do the same job. Check out this interesting color wheel at:

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Old 10-26-2007, 08:40 PM   #29
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Quiller Color Wheel

I have utilized Stephen Quiller's color wheel.

Stephen has done a tremendous amount of research into finding precise tube complements, (meaning that their mixtures produce clean, beautiful greys) and publishes a chart by color name/brand/equivalent, also by oil, watercolor and acrylic.He updates the chart periodically as manufacturers add or delete or change colors.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:59 PM   #30
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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The advantage of Munsell

The difference between the Munsell Color Notation System and normal color wheels (annotated or not) is that Munsell describes a 3-D color space so you can relate your colors to each other contextually. It makes color recipes obsolete allowing you to modulate your color appropriately without needing to remember what colors you had previously mixed.

I believe it's always advantageous to simplify my thought process if my goal is to become more intuitive. Using the Munsell System has enabled me to do just that. In most instances my brush seems to be mixing the color on its own. Additionally, using neutrals to desaturate colors as opposed to using compliments, reduces color shifts and keeps the number of colors on your palette more manageable.
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