14 September 2013

Colour mixing 5

divot-dock to ell-emaciate 367-405
cadmium red, cobalt blue, titanium white, mixing white, emerald, naples yellow
decimate-decode to disuse-dive 323-365
phthalo turquoise, ultramarine blue, payne's grey, mixing white, cadmium red,
titanium white, cobalt blue
corvus-cost to debate-decane 283-321
lemon yellow, red oxide, ultramarine blue, mixing white,
lemon yellow, phthalo turquoise
clepsydra-climax to coronach-correspond 235-281
viridian, ultramarine blue, payne's grey, cadmium red, mixing white, red oxide,
titanium white, lemon yellow
celesta-censor to classis-clean 203-233
cadmium red, naples yellow, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, viridian
In painting the dictionary, I use a large palette knife both to mix the paint and to apply it to the page. When the overlaps of paint look too bad, I use a small palette knife to tidy it up. A page takes on average 7 minutes, for mixing, application, and drying with hairdryer. Writing the colour that has been added in the margin of the page is essential for keeping track of how the new colour has been created - even though the proportions of colours used change each time.

Why don't I use a brush? Two main reasons: waste of paint in brush, especially as a large brush would be needed for quick coverage (and would take much longer to mix the paint with OR need to be cleaned out each time; and ease of cleaning a palette knife. It definitely would be A Good Thing to try a brush, if only to get practice in using it "beautifully" - to get nice, even coverage. But ... which brush?

Even coverage is not easy, and I've given up aiming for perfection. I'm trying to develop, through all this practice, an intuitive (or is the right word instinctive?) handling of the materials. This means, at this stage, paying close attention to what's going on - eg, if you don't squeeze out enough paint to start with, you end up with not enough to mix the next colour into, and the hue jumps wildly instead of being a smooth transition; if (in an attempt to extend the amount of paint available) you add too much water, the inner part of the page will wrinkle alarmingly - it gets too wet and the paper stretches; the technical term is cockling. Lots of little "habits" like these have to become automatic before you can do them without thinking about them.
pages 203-405 (only right-hand pages get painted)

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