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Thread: Watercolour becomes "grey"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Milano Italy
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    5

    Watercolour becomes "grey"

    Hello, I'm rather new with the product but I want to highlight an effect on using watercolours that it's strange to me.

    1. open new project
    2. select watercolour
    3. in settings (top - down ; left - right): 50%,50%,100%, 50%,X,X,X
    4. choose whatever colour (I choose blue) and select for example mid brightness
    5. paint a single stroke forsimplicity at 150% brush size
    6. now maintaining the same colour, lower the brightness toward the darker side
    7. paint over the same stroke as step 5 two, three or more times. The result is that the color becomes "grey".

    I don't understand why.

    Can someone explain what I should change in order to have a "darker" colour as the one I'm expecting in the real life. I've never seen that a dark blue becomes grey if painted over a light blue.

    Thanks for any suggestion
    Andrea

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    The effect you're seeing is probably the result of a few different things interacting. When the second stroke passes over the first, the water will pick up pigment from the canvas, thinning it slightly. This means more of the canvas colour is blended in to the pigment strokes and, as the canvas has lower saturation than the pigment, the overall result is less saturated and tends more towards grey.

    At the same time, the limitations of a digital colour model (even in Real Colour Blending to some extent) do mean that mixing two colours of the same general hue can tend towards grey. In this case the lightness of the colours is the only thing changed, and as you blend towards dark they become desaturated, which is then brightened up by the thinning paint and looks grey.

    The first thing to do is to make sure that you're adjusting the brightness only when you move to the darker blue, avoid moving the spot in the colour picker towards the inner corner of the arc, slide it along the outer edge only. That ensures that you maintain maximum saturation in your second colour.

    You could also try playing the Colour Bleed control to change how much of the new colour blends in to the original. The higher the value, the more of the new colour will blend in and this can reduce problems caused by the blend/diffuse combination I mention above.

    If you don't have Real Colour Blending turned on, turn it on via the Colour menu (under Tools) and that may also help.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Milano Italy
    Posts
    5

    Watercolour becomes"grey"

    Hi Matt,
    first of all thanks for the answer that shows me that you all at "ambient design" are passionate like me around this product and really love it.

    Two things I noticed also compared to what you said are:
    1. if you set the color bleeding at 100% (as you said) the effect is much reduced.
    2. Even more reduced if you set to zero the "thinners" (water).

    ok, but the strange is that even if you paint a single (one) stroke with Thinners 0% and Color Bleeding = 0% the effect is that it starts blue and becomes lighter while with Color Bleeding = 100% the effect is it maintains the right color. (Load is always=100%)

    see the attached picture.

    so the question is what is the meaning of "color bleeding" when there is no other color to bleed and you paint the first stroke. can you explain me ? don't tell methat it bleeds with the colour of paper.:-)

    Thanks
    Andrea
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
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    New Zealand
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    I don't get quite that effect when I paint with 100% color bleed (0% thinners) but I think I can see what's happening there. Bleed controls the dispersion of the pigment through the liquid medium. Where there is less pigment, more of the canvas will show through. Because the canvas is lighter, the blue appears lighter.

    If you go to Canvas Settings (from the View menu) and turn the canvas opacity down to 0% you should see the checkered pattern (our stand-in for transparent canvas) appear in the lighter areas. This is because the pigment is thinner and more translucent. The blue pigment on the canvas isn't actually lighter, and if you blend it with another blue it won't add light blue to that blend, it's just thinner.

    I think in the stroke you posted as a sample, the pigment bled faster in the first part, leaving less later on. I'll have to double check that however.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  5. #5
    To be honest I also suffer a bit ;p because of this parameter. It make that cool fx - water on the middle of the stroke and paint on the sides but fact is user can't use black with this parameter turned to 30% and more... (don't rememer exact number)

  6. #6
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    New Zealand
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    Reducing thinners should increase the pigment density, but there will always be some diffusion with the liquid simulation.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Milano Italy
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    Matt, I understand your point, but notice that in the picture I uploaded the stroke goes from right down to the left. So it starts blue and finishes grey washed.

    Any way I would propose to you developers the following change that to me is more intuitive than the actual watercolour implementation.

    The "thinner" in the actual watercolors means water and if I take a "Ultramarine blue" in theory with 0% water (that in the reality is not possible, but we assume is possible), then I have the fully saturated "Ultramarine Blue" right ?

    Ok, if I add water to this it means that I wash the colour until it's only transparent (pure water).

    In the AR program what I would do is that the thinner moves the colour point wherever it is located first gradually to the right and then when it reaches the border down right to the white.

    Also because if you think about it, if you dilute a colour with the thinner or you just pick the result colour after dilution in the color picker the colour is the same. Unless there is another meaning and expected effect for that "thinner" control this is a good compromise I think.

    About the colour bleeding, honestly I don't know and it does not convince me. It's also counterintuitive in the effects: if you have one colour and set it to 100% it is almost good and if you set it to 0% it has that washed effect that I don't understand: is it water dilution ? No it can't be because the thinner is another control. You explained me the reason but the result is counterintuitive.

    Please accept my comments as proactive as I would like to support you.

    Andrea
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    New Zealand
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    Colour bleed controls the speed at which the pigment bleeds from the point it touches the canvas in to any surrounding blends. It's not a 'real world' control (without some pretty funky pigment technology), it's there to allow tweaking of blending effects.

    I can see why you suggest the idea of moving the colour towards the white point, but that's not actually relevant here (and would harm the effect on any canvas not white). The colour of the paint is still blue, the transparency of the colour is all that has changed. We don't shift the paint colour unless it's manually blended with other paint on the canvas.

    Take a watercolour stroke that appears to have shifted towards white, then change the colour of the canvas beneath it. You'll see that the paint isn't white, it's still blue, it's just transparent. The final result you see is the result of taking a pigment of the indicated colour, and blending it dynamically with the colour directly beneath it (which is visible because the paint is transparent.

    In my sample below I painted a single watercolour stroke, then added a layer underneath and filled a couple of selections with pure (garish) colour. The transparent area in the centre of the stroke adopts a blend of the colour of the paint and the colour beneath. The paint colour is still blue however, and if I remove the colour from the layer beneath it'll be back to blue blended with canvas colour.

    Here's another way to test this:

    1. Paint a blue stroke.
    2. Open the Precise Colour Picker and note the Hue value.
    3. Select the eyedropper and run it over the area that appears less blue (make sure 'single layer only' is ON in the eyedropper settings).

    You'll see that the hue doesn't change - The pigment is still blue.

    Hope that helps explain why the system doesn't work by shifting to white.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

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