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Flat Figures Painters Forum => Techniques => Topic started by: Mike G on December 17, 2016, 11:25:31 AM

Title: Yellow ochre
Post by: Mike G on December 17, 2016, 11:25:31 AM
I've got a "technical" question and would appreciate thoughts and advice. Yellow ochre is a somewhat grainy transparent color that I've always had trouble shading. I do so by mixing it with the appropriate quantity of burnt umber, another somewhat grainy, transparent color. I find it hard to achieve the right opacity. Same question as relates to sap green. I need to use both of these colors quite a bit on the Hastings set. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: willie on December 17, 2016, 12:47:43 PM
Mike let me take a look at my paint mixing books and I will get back with you Willie ???
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Nicholas Ball on December 17, 2016, 01:26:02 PM
Hi Mike,

Hope this helps :)

The only medium to dissolve the grainyness of browns is Walnut oil, but it must be art oil, not the kitchen type oil. As a spirit in itself, it is very effective in cleaning brushes, especially reds.

Raw umber is a brown shade, burnt umber is a chocolate ( red ) shade, so depending on what effect I want, depends on which colour I use. Raw umber can make colours very muddy and bland, where as burnt umber can ' lift colours ' and make them ' glow '.

All transparent colours can be made opaque by mixing it with a non transparent colour.

If the base coat ( primer ) is white, then on most applications, I tend to use a matching humbrol first, otherwise you will forever be building up colour layer after layer.This is especially so with reds and blues. On saying this, sap green has a unique property to it. If used over a white base it will firstly only appear as a stain, however if every coat is left to dry, you can get at least 5 darker shades of colour out of it, the final shadow is a mix of sap green and paynes grey. I used this technique on Robin Hood so the final effect remained a pure green.


Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Mike G on December 17, 2016, 01:44:12 PM
Thanks nick this is very helpful- didn't know burnt umber was warmer. I'm going for bland with this set so will use raw umber from now on. I prime the figures with humbrol white and then use a base of thin color that I then overlay with a thicker version of the same. I've never used Paynes gray. Now I'm going to buy some.
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Nicholas Ball on December 17, 2016, 02:56:32 PM
Paynes Grey is a great colour, I use it for making the darkest shadows of all colours instead of black
(mixed with the darker shade of the base colour )

The 2 other colours I would not be without are lead tin yellow lemon and lead tin yellow light.

These have both been newly introduced by Michael Harding. Though fairly expensive. Being lead, it smooths the colours it is mixed with, making a very creamy consistency.

I now use the yellow light instead of white to highlight a colour. The lead gives it a grey tone but again with the hint of yellow, warms any colour it is mixed with.

The darker yellow lemon gives vibrancy to colours, a sort of fluorescent effect. Great with red, as it turns it to a firey orange, with a 'glow'

If you have a lead white, then you can make these yourself by mixing in the appropriate colour.

Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Mike G on December 17, 2016, 04:43:17 PM
Michael Harding is a range? Better than Windsor newton?
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: willie on December 17, 2016, 05:24:28 PM
Mike you might try looking at the following books 1. Oil Painters Pocket Palette page 32. By Rosalind Cuthbert published by Quarto Publishing  2. Color Mixing Recipes for oil and Acrylic By William F Powell. This is a nice series it has one for Portraits and Landscapes published by Walter Foster Publishing . 3. Color Mixing for Artists By  John Lidzey Published by Barron's this books is more a complete reference for all artists . If all else fails just take the color put some on your plate and Paynes Grey and play with it until you get something you like. Willie ???
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Nicholas Ball on December 17, 2016, 06:15:07 PM
Books sound interesting Willie, will have to check them out :)

Michael Harding is an English artist who decided to create is own paint as he didn't like the way other paint manufacturers over diluted their paint with linseed oil.
The colours are far more vibrant and concentrated ( 1/3 stronger than W+N ) and because they have less linseed in them they are also far creamier and blend very nicely.

He has a good website, with interesting videos, plus a list of stockists in the USA 8)

Most colours are also cheaper than W+N :o
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Mike G on December 17, 2016, 06:33:26 PM
Thanks willie I'll take a look.  Nick I'll have to give them a try once the WNs start to run out. Sounds promising
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Glen on December 18, 2016, 10:51:27 AM
There is a faster and less complicated way... use matching or near matching acrylics to undercoat the transparent oils. Andrea, Vallejo, Reaper, et al. It functions as a pre-colored primer. I'm a bit surprised that no one mentioned this.

(the rabble-rouser)  8)
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Mike G on December 18, 2016, 11:00:54 AM
Lol. As a member of the rabble I'm thoroughly roused!  You're absolutely right Glenn. I undercoat in oils - nick did I think mention he undercoats in acrylics. Without undercoating it would be almost impossible to get rich colors in most cases. I find a thin oil undercoat is dry in about 2 days, so I stagger it so that I always have undercoated figures ready to paint
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Nicholas Ball on December 18, 2016, 03:24:16 PM
Actually I undercoat in Enamel, can't get on with acrylics :P

Maybe over Christmas I will give it a try ;)
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Glen on December 18, 2016, 10:10:38 PM
Well, you did say Humbrol and I immediately thought of the enamels. With the acylics, you have the advantage of them drying within minutes ...sooner if you hit them with a hairdryer. And there's really nothing to 'get on' with them. Just lay a coat or two down as you would a primer. You aren't shading or highlighting anything so it doesn't have to be perfect. Try it; you'll like it. Bwa-ha-ha-ha...

(beckoning you to the dark side...)
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: marko on December 19, 2016, 02:34:05 AM
Humbrols also dry quite quickly.  What acrylics do not have however, is the odor.  Still most painters, me included do tend to find a groove and stick to it.  As long as you are happy with results and having a good time doing it then you are doing it right...

mark  8)
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Nicholas Ball on December 19, 2016, 05:26:10 AM
You can not resist, you will comply!!!

No I won't ------ well maybe  ----- yes  probably   hahaha
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: Hannibal on December 19, 2016, 06:52:20 AM
I have used both, no big difference at use (some say oïl keeps better on enamel ..)
The only point perhaps is when we wish to unpaint a surface on the undercoat, as result of error or change of mind, enamel priming might be more résistent to solvent than acrylic would be.

My wife use to unpaint and repaint if not good at the first time, ... I do prefer to let dry for one week, and paint over the previous, if the value is similar and tone also (white to yellow, red to Brown, ..), as it gives a good base for the newer painting.
Getting paint off is really when you shift from blue to yellow, or red to light green ....  or if the coats are too thick to fade détails ...

Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: PJDeluhery on December 28, 2016, 10:49:29 AM
Let me offer my two cents here.

Since yellow ochre is "yellow" you can shade it with its compliment - purple. I usually mix the purple rather rely on tube mixes I'm not sure of. This gives a lovely warm brown that is very nice for many pieces.

I have many of the books Willie mentions, and yes they are very good and very helpful. However, the last few times I've needed guidance in mixing or shading I've found more on the internet than in all my books. The information this subject -as with all others-is just vast.

I've had the same problem with graininess with some colors. I have found that using a glazing medium lets me thin down the paint to a very great transparency without graininess.   I mix it 50/50 with mineral spirits to avoid the shine. If you glaze, which I do, this is a very big help with pigment control.  It also works well as a  medium in normal painting.  I use Windsor Newton Blending and Glazing Medium.

I used to bock in with acrylics but now I just paint straight onto the white primer. Sometimes it takes a few more coats, but I think the colors are brighter and richer without the underpaint. Also, I do a kind of modified girsaille technique that would be covered by underpainting.
Title: Re: Yellow ochre
Post by: zinnmartina on December 29, 2016, 08:48:38 AM
For Shading I like the colour Vandyckbrown (Vandyckbraun in German) very much.