the CMY/RGB colorwheel

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.

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Acrylic brand comparisons

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.

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Pigment color mixing chart

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” in piano lessons.

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