Blue Test

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I’m getting back to basics with the help of a book I bought a while ago: Color Right From the Start by Hilary Page. I started with the section about blue pigments and the first exercise was to construct a chart to illustrate the ‘hue bias’ of blue pigments. Hue bias is the tendency for certain blues to appear greenish and others to appear reddish.

Blue pigments are not the only colors which exhibit bias toward their neighbors on the color wheel. The author of my current reference book determined that the most balanced primary color pigments with which to mix are aureolin yellow and permanent rose.

Below is the chart of 18 of the 19 blue pigments in my paint box. At the time of posting, I neglected Prussian blue .

Watercolor Chart of Blue Pigments

Blues Chart

The blue color is painted in the largest circle. Above and to the left and right of the blue under test are two circles. This is where the aureolin yellow and permanent rose patches are painted. Next to the yellow circle is a circle that contains the mixture of blue and yellow; the red circle has, adjacent to it, a circle that contains the blue and red mixture.

The bias of some of the blues is obvious. They just look more on the red side or green side. It is even more obvious when the tube of paint contains the letters ‘RS’ or ‘GS’, for ‘red shade’ or ‘green shade’.

2 thoughts on “Blue Test

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