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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tinting strength in watercolor paints

Last week I started a chart in watercolor class that illustrated the differences in tinting strength of pigments. The definition of tinting strength is "the power of a color to influence a mixture." A lot of artists have trouble with paint mixtures because they're trying to change a strong color with a weak one and can't get the results they want. This is true in most color media, because the pigments used in all media are the same with different binders. I finished the chart this week and indicated how you can select from one end or the other of the continuum of colors in any hue and the colors will work together. On the chart, the weaker colors are to the left of the rows, moving toward the stronger colors at the right. So you mix weak colors for delicate effects and powerful colors for strong statements. Sometimes you can mix weaker colors with middle-strength colors or middle-strength colors with powerful colors. But not weak with strong.

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