Friday, November 5, 2021

Comparing Blues

I got some new (to me) blue colors in oil recently, and I wanted to compare them with ones I have been regularly using.

• The top row is thick application with a palette knife and a "drawdown" to thinner at the bottom.

• The 2nd & 3rd rows are tints (tube blue + titanium white)

• 4th row is pure paint applied with a brush

• Bottom row is each blue with just enough white to bring the color out. Many blues (and other colors) are so dark straight out of the tube that they appear back, or colorless.

I tweaked this for color accuracy as much as possible, but it still lacks something compared to viewing in person

My conclusions? Hmmmm..... Well, they all have their uses and tendencies.

Straight out of the tube (no tinting):  Cerulean and Cobalt show the most pronounced color. Those two are lighter in value (without he addition of white) and my eye can register the hue better. This is Williamsburg "genuine" Cerulean (a more pricey color) my issue with it is that it's too pasty and thick. Which can be remedied, of course.

Cobalt seems like the least biased blue. Not strongly greenish or bluish to my eye. Williamsburg also makes a "Cobalt Deep" which I may try when this runs out. Some projects for making color wheels suggest Cobalt as a primary blue.

The Transparency of Ultramarine is nicely evident in the top drawdown. It's really the only one that evinces much transparency here.

I'd like to bring Prussian Blue back into some paintings again. The third row, far right tint is so much like what one sees in skies. Prussian seems like it occupies a spot in between Phthalo and Cobalt on the color wheel.

I think one could certainly use 3 out of these 5 in a painting to utilize the best features of each, depending on your painting's needs.
I am leaning toward using Ultramarine and Prussian for my warm and cool blues, respectively. I have been recently painting with a split-compliment palette using Ultramarine and Phthalo.