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 Colors look dull.

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PostSubject: Colors look dull.   Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:59 pm

I just finished a painting but the colors look dull, dead. It seems the more I work on a painting the drawing improves but the colors die and dull down. Any suggestions? I"m using Artisan and Holbein brands. A few Max in there too.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Colors look dull.   Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:25 pm

Two things you may want to look at when painting are:

1. Adding a small amount of a color to its complementary color will dull the color.
You may want to look at this discussion I wrote on my website.

http://www.filarecki.com/complementary-colors.html

2. Be aware that mixing colors that contain all three of the primary colors will dull the color. If you look at the complements...red and green... the red is primary and the green is made up from yellow and blue, the two other primaries. Limiting your mixing to only two primaries, for example, the blue, violet, red range will keep your colors cleaner and brighter.

Check your palette colors tubes to be sure your blue is not blue-green or your red is not slightly orange. What I have done is tested different combination of colors I have using a disposable palette. I label the samples and keep it as a reference.

As I re-read your question, you may also be talking about the loss of gloss of some of the colors. If you click the search button above in the main menu and type in "varnish", you will find several posts on that topic. Here is one of them.

http://watersolubleoils.forumotion.com/t4-how-to-varnish-a-painting-completed-in-water-soluble-oils?highlight=varnish

Hope that helps.

Judy

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PostSubject: Re: Colors look dull.   Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:43 pm

Perhaps you're right Judy, I was mixing violet into my cadmium yellow and orange to tone them down and this might have been the problem. But also it seems the more I go over the same color with the same color (on a different painting session) the color dulls down. I guess the real trick is to keep the ground to still so through... but that is very hard to do if your drawing is off.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Colors look dull.   Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:09 am

I always had a problem with the colors showing through from a previous layer because of the transparency of the paints. Highlighting trees for instance. Adding opaque titanium white to cover some of the underlying color helped, and then once dry, I would put the pure highlight color on over the white. I tend to paint in very thin layers so that contributes to the transparency problem.

Judy

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Colors look dull.   Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:11 pm

I find that it is awfully easy to muddy a colour. I try to mix my colour, and apply it without a lot of tweaking once it it on the canvas. Easier said than done, of course. I have also learned that when I (eventually, a year later) apply gloss varnish to the painting, it restores the colour and brilliance to paint that had dulled down.

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ftariqtx
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PostSubject: Re: Colors look dull.   Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:23 pm

Could you post one of your work for one of us to give you suggestions. But Judy and Alan have covered it quite well.


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