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Thread: Oil Brush - What complimentary colors mix to make grey?

  1. #1
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    Oil Brush - What complimentary colors mix to make grey?

    Using the real color blending system, which complimentary colors can be mixed to make a grey (not using white or black of course)?

  2. #2
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    June.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enug View Post
    Thank you. Have you had success doing that with the oil brush using real color blending mode in artrage?

  4. #4
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    It's not going to work in ArtRage/digital color blending of any kind that I know of.

    There are four ways to make 'greyer colours' in oils: Tint, Tone, Mute, Shade. You tint with white, mute with a complementary colour, tone with grey, and shade with black. In the linked tutorial for traditional oils, the colours 'cancel out' (mute/slightly desaturate) and white makes everything greyer and more dilute in colour (desaturated) as well as increasing luminance. Neither of these two things happen in digital colour blending, 'realistic' or otherwise, because it's not an inherent colour property, it's more a property of the pigments themselves (handwaving summary for conciseness ;P ). The upside to this is that the greyness/saturation is very controllable, so you don't suddenly end up with a muddy grey image because you accidentally over-mixed a section - which is much more likely to happen digitally, as you won't be leaving sections to 'dry' before adding new colour as often. (Real Color Blending means you get more realistic hues).

    So:

    - No tinting. In digital media, adding white will make it brighter, but won't desaturate it the way it does in the examples. You need to add actual grey hues at some point instead (this is for both Real Colour and normal blending, the difference is the hues you get, not the saturation). If you experiment with a precise colour picker in ArtRage, you'll see that white just requires 100% luminance, the saturation is irrelevant. White is generally 'neutral' saturation instead of 0% saturation the way it is traditionally, so it never lowers or increases the saturation.

    - Tone works fine. Adding any shade of grey will work more or less as expected and give you a greyer, less saturated, colour. This is what you need to do to mix greys in ArtRage.

    - Shade sort of works. Shading with pure black will give you a very vivid/strong colour in many cases, as it has a similar technical issue to white (it doesn't desaturate, just change the luminance), but 'darker colour' is still closer to grey than bright colour, for the human eye.

    - No muting. This will not work correctly in ArtRage because digital colours will retain their saturation level rather than losing colour when they mixing with other colours (colours don't cancel out and will remain at the same vividness with the new hue). If you want a lower saturation, you have to add a colour with lower saturation to start with. The non-realistic blending may work better for this sometimes because there can be loss of colour data when blending.



    And to head off the next question : We might be able to create a blending mode option for it somehow but I haven't a clue how much work that would involve or if we'd even end up with something anyone wanted to use (colour mixing is complicated math, yo - just look at how hard it is to make the current version throw out the right hues!), and it's not just a matter of 'doing better calculations', it's a matter of calculating the effects completely differently. Also bonus issue: oils react very differently, so the colour blending can often be very different from other media. Which means that making ArtRage more oils-accurate may make it less colour-accurate in some cases. So consider us aware of the issue, with no ability to make promises.
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  5. #5
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    I haven't tried as I don't find a need for mixing colours - I just pick from the color picker if I want to grey the colour. I suspect it would depend on the colour samples being true hues and I suppose canvas lighting would also come into it.
    June.

    Oh God of homeless things, look down
    And try to ease the way
    Of all the little weary paws
    That walk the world
    today.
    -
    Unknown.

    http://enug66.deviantart.com/gallery/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahRage View Post
    It's not going to work in ArtRage/digital color blending of any kind that I know of.

    There are four ways to make 'greyer colours' in oils: Tint, Tone, Mute, Shade. You tint with white, mute with a complementary colour, tone with grey, and shade with black. In the linked tutorial for traditional oils, the colours 'cancel out' (mute/slightly desaturate) and white makes everything greyer and more dilute in colour (desaturated) as well as increasing luminance. Neither of these two things happen in digital colour blending, 'realistic' or otherwise, because it's not an inherent colour property, it's more a property of the pigments themselves (handwaving summary for conciseness ;P ). The upside to this is that the greyness/saturation is very controllable, so you don't suddenly end up with a muddy grey image because you accidentally over-mixed a section - which is much more likely to happen digitally, as you won't be leaving sections to 'dry' before adding new colour as often. (Real Color Blending means you get more realistic hues).

    So:

    - No tinting. In digital media, adding white will make it brighter, but won't desaturate it the way it does in the examples. You need to add actual grey hues at some point instead (this is for both Real Colour and normal blending, the difference is the hues you get, not the saturation). If you experiment with a precise colour picker in ArtRage, you'll see that white just requires 100% luminance, the saturation is irrelevant. White is generally 'neutral' saturation instead of 0% saturation the way it is traditionally, so it never lowers or increases the saturation.

    - Tone works fine. Adding any shade of grey will work more or less as expected and give you a greyer, less saturated, colour. This is what you need to do to mix greys in ArtRage.

    - Shade sort of works. Shading with pure black will give you a very vivid/strong colour in many cases, as it has a similar technical issue to white (it doesn't desaturate, just change the luminance), but 'darker colour' is still closer to grey than bright colour, for the human eye.

    - No muting. This will not work correctly in ArtRage because digital colours will retain their saturation level rather than losing colour when they mixing with other colours (colours don't cancel out and will remain at the same vividness with the new hue). If you want a lower saturation, you have to add a colour with lower saturation to start with. The non-realistic blending may work better for this sometimes because there can be loss of colour data when blending.



    And to head off the next question : We might be able to create a blending mode option for it somehow but I haven't a clue how much work that would involve or if we'd even end up with something anyone wanted to use (colour mixing is complicated math, yo - just look at how hard it is to make the current version throw out the right hues!), and it's not just a matter of 'doing better calculations', it's a matter of calculating the effects completely differently. Also bonus issue: oils react very differently, so the colour blending can often be very different from other media. Which means that making ArtRage more oils-accurate may make it less colour-accurate in some cases. So consider us aware of the issue, with no ability to make promises.
    Thank you for the reply.

    As for simulating real paint I have often wondered how much of each pigment works (based on the physics of light) basically as subtractive (transmissive particles), and how much of it is additive (reflective particles). White media certainly is reflective. Yellow also likely has a high reflective component in it but also likely has a subtractive component. Blues and reds may have both reflective elements and more or less subtractive (transmissive rather than reflective) components. Brown and black are mostly both subtractive. Honestly, full color simulation of paint may involve both additive and subtractive components for every "piece" of paint. It might be a 6 or 7 component color system... I don't think it has ever been tried... [[There may be a system of 3 or 4 types of reflective particles (components), and 3 or so subtractive particles (components)...which makes every color and blends like real oils...]] someone will be the first...one day.
    Last edited by DarkOwnt; 07-26-2017 at 05:56 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for sharing this! I don't use grey too often but maybe someday this will come in handy.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOwnt View Post
    Thank you for the reply.

    As for simulating real paint I have often wondered how much of each pigment works (based on the physics of light) basically as subtractive (transmissive particles), and how much of it is additive (reflective particles). White media certainly is reflective. Yellow also likely has a high reflective component in it but also likely has a subtractive component. Blues and reds may have both reflective elements and more or less subtractive (transmissive rather than reflective) components. Brown and black are mostly both subtractive. Honestly, full color simulation of paint may involve both additive and subtractive components for every "piece" of paint. It might be a 6 or 7 component color system... I don't think it has ever been tried... [[There may be a system of 3 or 4 types of reflective particles (components), and 3 or so subtractive particles (components)...which makes every color and blends like real oils...]] someone will be the first...one day.
    It wouldn't be even as simple as you're saying here, because it depends way more on the chemistry. Like, you can get a pyrrole red and a cadmium red with basically the same mass tone, but if you paint the pyrrole on top of a dry green it'll go black-ish (it's mostly transparent), and the cadmium will just be red (it's opaque). And if you mixed those with, say a chromium oxide green (opaque), the pyrrole would make a very dark colour and the cadmium would make a mid grey. You'd basically have to keep track of proportions of paint, and it'd be some pointlessly complex sets of curves: what happens when you tint that pyrrole/chromium mixture with titanium white? Or lead white? You also have those occasional weird reactions, like how thinned burnt sienna on a white background is still brown but burnt sienna tinted with titanium white is suddenly flesh-toned.

    Honestly I like how all digital stuff basically blends like gouache. You can't really get more visual fun out of a display and it's simpler.

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