Thursday, December 11, 2014
Little White Hen and Twelve Days #5 (Munsell Color Wheel)
Day 5 of the twelve days
Color fascinates me. Perhaps the gradual loss of my vision makes an understanding of this more urgent.
I have a chart of Hilary Page's "visual compliments" (Color Right from the Start by Hilary Page) hung above my painting space. I have come to understand that visual compliments are "light" compliments which are slight shifts from the "mixing" or "physical" compliments that are described by the more customary triadic color wheels (these have red, yellow blue primaries and the compliments (e.g. red plus green) make a neutrals (black-grey-dark brown).
I found the book "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" by Michael Wilcox (which I leant and have not had returned) added to my understanding of how I was making muddy colors (read if your colors are not what you want)
In "Color Harmony in Your Paintings" by Margaret Kessler, the Munsell color wheel is well described. The Munsell Color Wheel makes sense of all of the fractured pieces of information above. Munsell used five primary colors: yellow, red, violet, blue and green. This makes a different five color pentagon color wheel: different than the hexagon primary and secondary colors of the conventional color wheel. Consequently, the Munsell wheel shifts the compliments to be more visually accurate. More interesting to me, is that mixing these shifted compliments creates more beautiful neutrals and semi-neutrals. In Kessler's book, she further describes the use of the Munsell color wheel which is also amazingly helpful for color mixing, classification and color planning in a painting.