Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hue, Chroma & Value Chart

Huechroval, Publisher.
"Build Your Collection by Design, Not Accident."

Marie Meyer's new book
Multi-Brand Color Chart for Pastels, is the tool-of-choice for serious pastelists looking to fill out their palette in the smartest possible way.

Because my recent works have featured a green and purple composition, I found myself short on the cooler purples. Maybe I have been raiding the studio palette for my outdoor kits. Also, I have a very large assortment of handmade purples that I got at a Kitty Wallis workshop. They tend towards the red field of the purple hue, and many of these have pearlescence in them.

Here was my opportunity to put the new Huechroval pastel book through a practical test.

So, the need for a goodly number of purples was identified. As you may know, my palette tray is a large, self made shallow wooden box that holds my main collection of colors. See this post about it's design. Here was my opportunity to put the new Huechroval pastel book through a practical test.

The Test:

To begin with, I decided to stock up with my favorite brand, Diane Townsends. And, I have been leaning towards the Soft Forms rather than the Terrages, which I already have a big collection of. I pulled my file of Diane Townsend information to see what my color chart records said. Uh oh! It turned out that I only had the color chart for
Terrages, but not for the regular-sized Soft Forms.

Well, the first thing to do was to order the hand made color chart for Soft Forms from Dakota. While there, I made an order of paper and found out that the DT pastels I wanted were on sale.

But, which colors to buy? Lacking the chart, I went to the shopping page at Dakota for Soft Forms and printed the list. Then, I consulted the Diane Townsend site and found some sets pictured. I printed out a few that had the purples I liked. Those will look nice in my file folder, too. Still at a loss, I realized that I had in my possession the most
comprehensive color chart of pastel stock available in the USA, Multi-Brand Color Chart for Pastels.

The book utilizes a 100 hue color wheel, and each hue is given a number rather than a name...I wanted blue dominant purples.

The book utilizes a 100 hue color wheel, and each hue is given a number rather than a name. The purple field I want is numbered around 75-80. Now you turn to the pages that cover these hues and eye-ball the ones you want. I wanted blue dominant purples.

The book will have a swatch, which is a little square, usually with the color represented and a numeric identity. The thing to do, then, is to see the facing page of data that lists the color and also which pastel sticks inhabit that color square. The brand name is abbreviated, and identified by the nomenclature that the brand uses.

While each page in the chart represents a hue, each square is perceptually a uniform distance from its neighbor and therefore a new hue. Then, the horizontal axis represents intensity and the vertical represents value.

Guess what I did? After I identified the colors I wanted, instead of open stock I ordered the set of violets and purples that was on the sale. I can use that as the nucleus of my new collection of purples, and fill in from open stock next time!

Next Post:

See the scrumptious new set of DT purples and Violets, and my open stock pursuit of purples!


Eden Compton Studio said...

How funny Casey! We're on the same wavelength again! I bought the DT violet set a couple of weeks ago - they're beautiful - and I'm waiting for the new huechroval book to arrive any day now! Glad you think it's a good resource.

Casey Klahn said...

Yes, and like a silly I have only used the red violet stick.

My open stock purchase are Unisons - I'll have a post after the holiday.

Stay well, Eden. Have a happy Fourth!

Martha Marshall said...

Stop it! You don't know how tempting this is. There is just nothing in the world like pastels.

Speaking of acrylics, which we weren't, it's dang nigh impossible to get a good violet with them.

Casey Klahn said...

I had a conversation with a color printer software engineer (wife's cousin) who drew me a picture (several, actually) of the color spectrum, visual perception, CMYK and RGB. I showed him my travel pastel box, and he immediately identified the yellow and purple sticks that aren't available via CMYK.

Acrylic, which I used to use many moons ago: you might be able to do a mixed media thing where you use thin layers of acrylic with purple pastel. Just thinking out loud - you are the master of acrylics.

My cousin said that purple inhabits the bookends of the light spectrum, and said that the only purples available to the computer guys (RGB or CMYK printer space) must be mixed. He said that the green light spectrum was available as is, which was news to me, but I did see how the diagram explained it.

In other words, purple is less available as a color not contaminated by the other colors, whereas the greens and oranges inhabit the better spots on the continuum of the light spectrum.

Whatever. I'll be posting about what I learned and my take on it, soon.

As you know, the paints are "sent" by mediums, which are just one more thing between you and your pigments. Pastel is more naked, so the pigment particles are unadulterated - or less so, anyway.

But, pastels don't do really big, and they don't do the beautiful layers that paint does.

loriann signori said...

As always your blog is full of great information Casey. I will have to buy that book. I have not used the Diana Townsend terrages before. How do you feel they are different from the softs? And would they be good for bigger works? I was looking at the la grandes from Sennelier... I like the size, but I find Senneliers a bit crumbly. Which do you think would be best for big works?

Casey Klahn said...

Lorie, I use both Diane's Terrages and the big Sennies. I even have some of the older jumbo Senneliers.

The larger Senneliers are more stable, in my experience. I use them for very rich pure tones, and also to put down large areas of color.

I use the Terrages to get a certain effect or build-up. Scumbling. And the colors are amazing.

Casey Klahn said...

Excuse me, Loriann. Sorry, I reverted to my lovely wife's name, which is Lorie.