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Old 07-30-2022, 10:27 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Color Charts

I was using chalk pencils for marking a wood block for printing and had to replace a color. At the art supply store, all they had were pastel pencils from Faber-Castell, which are of better quality than what was required. "Pitt" is the name of the line.

Faber-Castell makes excellent pencils and art supplies, so it didn't suprise me that I liked the pastel pencil. I decided I would like to use them for something and bought a few more.

However, I work systematically with color and when I like a medium, I like to have the complete assortment and make color charts. With media such as watercolors or oil paints, this can run into money, so I don't actually have the complete assortment of these media from Schmincke, which is my current top choice as a manufacturer of them (yet).

I have 5 tubes of watercolors of the brand Old Holland. They are the best I've ever used. They also make oil paints. Both kinds of paint are approximately twice as expensive as the corresponding ones from Schmincke. They are museum quality and used by restorers. They are definitely on my wish list, but probably not the entire assortments.

The photos show most of the steps of creating a color chart for the pastel pencils. I'm using black charcoal paper. I will also make a chart on white or off-white charcoal paper.

I'd already made a template for drawing the 2 x 2cm squares, which saved quite a bit of time. The wooden tool is a mahl stick I made when I still had my workshop. It's made of beech, the most common and least expensive hardwood available in Germany, and finished it with linseed oil. In this context, "least expensive" means "very expensive" rather than "outrageously expensive". It is available as white beech or red beech. It is very hard and the only time I hurt myself badly enough to have to go to the emergency room when I had my workshop was when I tried to plane a plank of red beech with a hand plane. I'm fairly sure the wood for the mahl stick is white beech.

The only other commonly available hardwood, i.e., in building supply stores, is oak, which is somewhat more expensive than beech. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, I'm using the term "hardwood" in the sense of deciduous rather than coniferous. Pine ("Kiefer" in German) is a hard wood, but taxonomically a softwood, whereas balsa is the softest of all the commercially sold woods, but taxonomically a hardwood. Of course, it is also "commonly available", like some other kinds of wood, but not for general purpose use.

As far as I know, the mahl sticks you can buy have cloth or wool at the end where I have the wooden ball. Some writers on art technique disapprove of the use of the mahl stick. While I agree that it's good to be able to draw without resting your hand on something, I find that it's not always realistic, especially with more technical kinds of drawing.

When looking at color samples, nearby colors interfere with our perception, so it's necessary to isolate them. For this purpose, I have two masks, one made of white Bristol board and the other of black photo board. I have plain sheets of the same materials for covering the rest of the chart.

It's also good to make large individual samples. So far, I've only done this for some of my watercolors.
Attached Thumbnails
Color Charts-dscf0001.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0003.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0005.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0006.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0007.jpg  

Color Charts-dscf0008.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0009.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0013.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0014.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0016.jpg  

Color Charts-dscf0017.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0018.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0019.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0020.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0021.jpg  

Color Charts-dscf0023.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0024.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0025.jpg   Color Charts-dscf0026.jpg  

Last edited by Laurence Finston; 07-30-2022 at 10:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2022, 01:42 AM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Working with fine paper

I've made some progress on the color chart with the black background. I need to buy a few more of the pastel pencils. I should have just bought the box with all 60 colors in the first place.

I have a folder full of fine paper of various kinds that I've literally had for decades. Since it's all 100% rag and hasn't been exposed to light or moisture, it's all as good as the day I bought it. I'm always glad when I have a reason to get out some fine paper and work with it.

For the color chart on a light background I'm using some charcoal paper from Hahnemühle. It's not always easy to determine which side is the front and I'm not sure it makes a difference with this paper. However, it has a watermark and by checking the Hahnemühle website, I determined that the rooster was facing left so it was the work of a moment to figure out that that was the front side. I marked all the corners on the back side "back" and when I cut or tore the sheet, I marked them on the new, smaller sheets. Actually, that's not quite true, since I forgot when cutting off the last two strips and had to figure it out from the remaining portion of the watermark.

Whenever possible, I prefer to tear rather than cut. I use the folding bone to reinforce the crease, several times while folding the paper the other way around a couple of times. Then, I tear carefully and tear the last bit from the other side. Otherwise, I use an x-acto knife. I hardly ever use scissors except for trimming, gift wrap or cloth.

I used a mask for marking the final cuts to bring the paper down to DIN A4. I'd cut it out of heavy Bristol board and the result doesn't have to be perfect; the sheet just has to fit into an A4 plastic pocket.

I always save every scrap of 100% rag paper. It may be useful for something and if not, then it would make excellent papier-mâché.
Attached Thumbnails
Color Charts-gscf0001.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0002.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0003.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0004.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0005.jpg  

Color Charts-gscf0006.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0007.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0008.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0009.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0010.jpg  

Color Charts-gscf0011.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0012.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0013.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0014.jpg   Color Charts-gscf0015.jpg  

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Old 08-05-2022, 04:38 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Finston View Post
However, it has a watermark and by checking the Hahnemühle website, I determined that the rooster was facing left [...]
In German, "Hahn" means "rooster" and "Mühle" means "mill".
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Old 08-05-2022, 04:55 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Originally Posted by Laurence Finston View Post
In this context, "least expensive" means "very expensive" rather than "outrageously expensive".
While this is true, sometimes you do get lucky: When I was at the building supply store the other day, I checked the bin where they put the offcuts. Usually, they only have plywood and particle board, but this time they had this beautiful piece of a laminated beechwood board. It's 59 x 61 x 1.8cm and cost 5 €, which is about half of what it would normally cost or even less.

It's such a nice piece of wood I couldn't pass it up. I ended up carrying it for a long way because the shopping center where the building supply store is isn't really set up for pedestrians. It weighs a ton and I'm getting too old for this. I want to make something really nice with it, but I don't have any idea what yet.
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Color Charts-fscf0001.jpg   Color Charts-fscf0003.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:40 PM
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whulsey whulsey is offline
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I have a few pieces of wood like that. Its like if I see a good sheet of watercolor paper on sale can't let it go by.
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Old 08-05-2022, 09:23 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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When one of the stationary shops in the town where I live, that also sold art supplies, closed, I bought a whole stack of watercolor paper in DIN A4 format. I will probably never run out of it.

The first photo shows the cover of a block of watercolor paper I bought when I was in high school, i.e., at the latest in 1981. I still have 4 sheets left.
I've got various other blocks, pads and individual sheets; hot-pressed, cold-pressed, lightweight, heavyweight ... I hope to use some of it up when I start printing.

The other photos are of my color charts for watercolors. I have five brands: Lukas, Winsor and Newton, Schmincke, Old Holland and Stockmar. I have one or two tubes of Winsor and Newton that I bought in the US. It's a good brand, but in Germany you pay for the name and I don't think they're better than Schmincke.

The owner of the art supply store in the town where I live, long closed, kind of pushed Lukas. This brand offers good quality for a reasonable price. I don't think they're as good as Schmincke, but they're perfectly good and I have a lot of them.

The Stockmar colors are for children and I specifically bought them for paper models because they are non-toxic. Otherwise, they're not comparable to the other brands.
Attached Thumbnails
Color Charts-hscf0001.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0002.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0003.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0004.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0005.jpg  

Color Charts-hscf0006.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0007.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0008.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0009.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0010.jpg  

Color Charts-hscf0011.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0012.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0013.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0014.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0015.jpg  

Color Charts-hscf0016.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0017.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0018.jpg   Color Charts-hscf0019.jpg  
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Old 08-06-2022, 09:00 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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I've created a webpage for colors: The GNU 3DLDF Colors Page

I've posted two PDF files and the source code for the color sample template in DIN A4 portrait and DIN A3 portrait format, respectively: https://www.gnu.org/software/3dldf/g...or_samples.pdf and
https://www.gnu.org/software/3dldf/g...samples_a3.pdf

I've also posted the PDF file and the source code for a "CMYK test": https://www.gnu.org/software/3dldf/S.../cmyk_test.ldf

"CMYK" is cyan, magenta, yellow and black, which are the colors in a four-color printing system. This file contains samples of CMYK colors with various values organized in a systematic way. It makes it possible to see what colors your monitor is displaying or your printer will actually print. These will always be different. Besides, monitors use a 3-color additive system while the four-color system used in printers is subtractive. The CMYK colors in the PDF file are converted by your monitor (or its driver?) to RGB (red, green, blue). Some high-end printing devices use a seven-color system. I've seen a plotter that has this and I've got a set of gouache paints that you can use to learn to mix colors in the seven-color system. When I bought them, there was a corresponding set of oil paints, but I'm not sure if either of them is still available.

I plan on making a corresponding chart for use with monitors using the three-color system and adding more samples when I get around to it, i.e., the next time I need it.
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Old 08-06-2022, 10:47 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Finston View Post
I've also posted the PDF file and the source code for a "CMYK test": https://www.gnu.org/software/3dldf/S.../cmyk_test.ldf

Sorry, wrong link. This is the right one: https://www.gnu.org/software/3dldf/SRC_CODE/cmyk_test.pdf
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Old 08-07-2022, 05:39 AM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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One more try: https://www.gnu.org/software/3dldf/g.../cmyk_test.pdf

I keep having problems with the extremely annoying "rate limited" bug.
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Old 08-07-2022, 07:02 AM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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More about color

Harald Küppers, who died last year, was an engineer and the developer of a seven-color printing system. He's recognized as an engineer but at least one physicist, namely Dietrich Zawischa, considers his theories of color to be incorrect. I don't have the knowledge to make a judgement about this and the theory of color doesn't really have any practical importance for me at the present time.

This is the set of gouache paints I mentioned above. Two of them dried out in their tubes, so I cut the latter open and now store the dried paint in jars. Since it's gouache, it can easily be dissolved again.

The set came with a workbook for mixing colors, which I have at the bottom of a box somewhere. I never did the exercises because some of the instructions don't make sense to me. For example, you're supposed to mix "by eye", because some colors color more strongly than others. However, paint looks different depending on whether it's wet or dry, so that's not really going to help. I think it's much better to make charts based on the volume of each color of paint you use.

However, I also don't really see the point of using fine artists' colors to imitate the effect of seven-color offset printing, since the former look so much better. Mixing is overrated anyway; it's much better to buy than mix, assuming sufficient funds are available. What does make sense is to mix white or gray with other colors. Otherwise, if you mix red and yellow, for example, you're in effect mixing a portion of the red and yellow pigments to an orange color and another (significant) portion to gray and mixing the two portions with each other. However, red, yellow, blue, etc., pigments tend to be expensive whereas gray can be mixed out of the much cheaper black and white paints. In other words, it's a waste of time, money and valuable resources.
Attached Thumbnails
Color Charts-jscf0006.jpg   Color Charts-jscf0007.jpg   Color Charts-jscf0008.jpg   Color Charts-jscf0009.jpg   Color Charts-jscf0010.jpg  

Color Charts-jscf0011.jpg   Color Charts-jscf0012.jpg   Color Charts-jscf0013.jpg  
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