Artist Research

color studies

the CMY/RGB colorwheel

CMYK and RGB colorspace gamut
The traditional artist’s color wheel, with primaries of red, blue and yellow (RBY), could use a bit of a reboot with today’s contemporary understanding of color. As an alternative to traditional artist’s training, the CMY/RGB color wheel, which combines primaries from the additive and subtractive color gamut, represents a more accurate interpretation of visual color.

acrylic brand comparisons

Winsor Newton Professional, M. Graham Artists', Nova, Lascaux Artist, Lascaux Studio, Lascaux Aquacryl, Schminke Primacryl, Tri-Art Finest, Utrecht Artists, Golden Heavy, Chroma Atelier Interactive, Liquitex Professional, Maimeri Brera, Sennelier Abstract, Charvin Extra Fine
Single-pigment paints provide more reliable mixing results and better lightfastness compared to “convenience mixtures” that are pre-mixed in the tube. However, the various pigments used by acrylic paint manufacturers differ by quality and chemistry. This chart aggregates current pigment research with acrylic paint ingredients to determine a brand’s relationship to pigment quality.

pigment color mixing chart

Lascaux Sirius pigments
Using a base palette of five primary colors from the CMY/RGB color wheel, I painted a set of color swatches with Lascaux Sirius acrylics to find out how to make all the hues in between. This was sort of an exercise in color theory — the visual equivalent to “doing my scales” from piano lessons.