You can’t play a musical instrument unless you learn to read music.
You can’t learn how to cook until you can read a recipe.
An artist can’t paint until he learns to mix colors.
Sure, you can fling paint about. However, if you don’t know the recipes to create the colors you envision for your painting, you’ll end up with a garish jumble or a murky brown and gray mess.
Color Mixing Recipes by William F Powell
Most every creative art has a basis in physics, mathematics or at least some fleeting acquaintance of the fundamental sciences. For a painter, color mixing is a science with specific formulations to prepare a color.
Red and yellow do not make green, but blue and yellow does. There are precise recipes to create any color, and Mr. Powell has created a useful book that gives color recipes for more than 450 colors of the rainbow.
Color Mixing Recipes by William F Powell ISBN-10 1560108738 is constructed as a six-inch by nine-inch spiral-bound book of 48 pages. The spiral bound pages lie flat, and the small size makes it great to shove in a backpack or paint box for plein air or classroom reference. It also includes a plastic-coated grid sheet to measure the correct proportions of paints for the recipes.
The book begins with an introduction of how to use the index and formulas, a brief overview of color theory and sections on value and intensity. It also contains a small section of recipes that are specific to portraiture.
The index alphabetically lists a whole gamut of colors. It’s fun just to look through the index. You will find Cerulean Blue preceded by Celery, which follows Cedar. It also has colors listed for Clouds and Crayfish, all of which include precise formulations.
This recipe book is written expressly for oil and acrylic paints. The color theory would work with watercolor, but the volume would be far too great for the type of paint. The author warns that there may be some variance between brands of paint. This is a very true statement. For example, Payne’s Gray may be a very neutral gray color for some manufacturers, but have an exceptionally blue cast from other producers. As with any new recipe, if there is any doubt, do a test run before serving it to guests. In this case, create a test swatch of the formulation to see if the color matches the one you see in the book.
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