Saturday, September 18, 2021

Neon Carrot or Medium Cadmium Orange

 Back in "Miss" Nancy's Kindergarten, I was only allowed the 16 Crayola Crayon Box. My parents did not buy my pitch for the box of 24 or, God Forbid, the Holy Grail - the box of 120 Crayons (with the sharpner). Of course, all we really needed was the basic 8,  ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet). Well included in there was Black and in lieu of Indigo, there was Brown.

With my new hobby of painting, I find myself constantly trying to get the right color, with the right tint and hue. What I mixed for the light edge of that peach colored rose petal, just had too much orange. And, I learned the hard way gray is not just gray. There is "green" gray, "brown" gray,  "light" gray, and "dark" gray just to name a few. So I decided to hedge my bets and invest in a coloring guide entitled "Color Mixing Recipes". 

Reading the first chapter on tone and shades, harmony and psychology, chroma and compliments, I realized I was way over my head. All I wanted was to mix a perfect peach. Looking at the 390 different colors, my mind was blown. Maybe that box of 120 Crayons was more serious than I thought. (And I just wanted it for bragging rights over my friend Frances, who had the box of 64.)

A prime example is "Ochre Red" #314. The recipe of which is 2 parts Naples Yellow, 1 part Burnt Sienna, and 1 speck of Cadmium Blue. A page or 2 earlier I found "Moth" #294 which is 6 parts White, 4 parts Yellow Ochre, and 1 part Ultramarine Blue. And, then there is #135, "Lapis" which is concocted from mixing 3 parts Permanent Blue, 1 part White, and 1 speck of Alizarin Crimson. No wonder I couldn't get the color peach correct, I had no idea it may have been "1 speck"  of Crimson (or whatever) that made the difference. BTW what is a "speck"? And while we're at it, how big is a cubic? But I digress.

Looking through the index, I found there are 5 different "Pansy" colors, 2 "Pelicans", 4 different "Seafoams" (including 1 sub color), and 15 "Oranges." Hearing that Dorothy awoke to find the witch was dead and everything was in color, now has a whole new meaning. (15 Oranges - seriously?)

So my work is cut out for me. Now in trying to come up with a perfect peach, I am bogged down in 3 different Peach recipes (Blossom Pink Peach, Cream Peach, and Pink Peach). Deciding on "Pink Peach" I need to mix 10 parts White and 1 part Cadmium Orange. After a quick Google search I learned Cadmium is a silvery white color, so I assume Cadmium Orange is a silvery white orange?

Perhaps, I should leave the acrylics for the grown ups and invest in that box of 120 Crayons. After all, if I cannot recreate the image I have in my mind on canvas in 120 colors then I seriously need help. However, looking over the chart of the 120 colors included in that box, I notice "Granny Smith Green". If I remember correctly in the 1964 box, that was simply "Light Olive". And "Piggy Pink"? I'll stick with "Cadmium Yellow", "Cerulean Blue" and "Phthalo Red". I may not know what I am talking about, but at least I will sound serious. "Macaroni and Cheese" light orange? Seriously? 

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