[alt-photo] color theory?

Diana Bloomfield dhbloomfield at bellsouth.net
Tue Nov 22 20:02:07 GMT 2011

Well, okay, since nobody else answered, I'll just say what I do.  I  
mentioned to someone recently that I use only about 3, maybe 4,  
pigments, and then they saw this big old tray of watercolor pigments,  
filled to the brim, in my studio.  They asked what happened to my "3  
or 4 pigments" that I use.  I then had to explain how many shades  
there really are of blue or yellow or magenta-- kind of like trying to  
find the perfect gray wall color-- some have bluish or violet casts;  
others have green casts; still others have a red cast . . .  (I just  
painted my living room wall a deep taupe gray, so I am way too  
familiar with that perfect elusive gray-- though I think I found it in  
Ben Moore's "Ashley Gray," in case anybody cares.)

Everybody is different, but I tend to stick with either Daniel Smith  
watercolors or M. Graham, and typically use a Prussian blue for my  
cyan layer; a quinacridone gold for the yellow; and something to the  
left of a real magenta for my magenta layer (typically a burnt  
scarlet).  For some reason, whenever I use a real magenta, things come  
out a little too pink for my taste. Those are for tri-colors.  For  
multi-layer prints, from one b&w negative, I stick with a lot of warm  
browns and maybe a prussian blue to darken shadows and maybe a gold  
for some highlights.  I don't do a lot from one negative, but when I  
do, that's what I do..  That's kind of vague, I guess, but there you  
have it.


On Nov 22, 2011, at 11:10 AM, Kurt Nagy wrote:

> Since we're on the subject of our individual process.
> How does everyone decide what combination of colors to use for a  
> given print.  Not a tricolor per say but a multilayer print.  I'm  
> rather new at gum printing and have had success with single layer  
> and even single negative tricolor but I haven't tried multilayers,  
> mainly cause I'm not sure what works best.
> I guess this is more of a color theory question.

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