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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Finished....again

Just when I think I'm finished with my book, Confident Color, another task pops up. Last week I completed a color chart of 70 colors that may or may not be included, depending on space. I only had 68 of the colors and had to go to an art store the next day to get the other two. Yesterday I cut out the labels on my printed chart and taped them to a transparent overlay for the production department to match the alignment. I hope they use it--it will be very helpful to artists in understanding how colors are identified by ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) color index names. Those are the letters and numbers you see on some of the tubes of paint, for example, PB29 for ultramarine blue. Manufacturers use so many different names for the same colors that I think it's important that artists start familiarizing themselves with these color index names so they know what they are buying. Even so, manufacturing processes aren't the same and colors don't necessarily match from brand to brand. PR108 is used to make cadmium red light, cadmium red medium, cadmium red deep and cadmium scarlet. Burnt sienna might be a synthetic iron oxide (PR101) or a natural iron oxide (PBr7). You might not want to bother with these technicalities, but they can make a big difference if you prefer a reddish sienna to a darker version or a transparent color versus an opaque one. You don't have to be a color-chart freak like I am, but you do need to keep track of what works for you so you can repeat the results you like.

I'm handing off the last pages and charts to my editor on Tuesday. Looks like I might get to enjoy Christmas after all, without book projects hanging over my head.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

I hope they do include your colour chart. It sounds very useful. I teach painting in acrylics and in lesson one I always explain what all the hieroglyphics on the tube mean.
The only other person I have ever heard address this (outside of paint manufacturers) was David Jansen (son of Jo Sonja).

6:52 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

It's likely the chart will be included. My editor is solidly behind it. You're a good teacher--those hieroglyphics are a mystery to most painters!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

I had no idea there were numbers associated with colors. Thanks Nita! Robin

7:40 AM  

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