I hear this a lot: Yellows are hard.
The main problem is the shadow colours. They’re tricky to mix, people tell me, and what tube paints can you use to make sure they don’t come out too dull?
There’s a good reason for that dullness, and it’s the chroma.
What’s chroma? Chroma is best thought of as the intensity of the colour. A very low intensity yellow would be very close to grey. A high intensity yellow, well – think of daffodils. You might use the word “bright” to describe that colour.
Why is the chroma the problem?
As you go down the value scale with yellows, the chroma drops quite sharply. If you don’t make sure to mix your shadow colours with the right tube paints – high chroma ones – your yellows will very quickly become dull.
That’s not the whole story, though. Because in many of the paintings I see with yellow objects in them, the shadows become too dark – too low in value.
So not only do you have dull colours, they’re too dark too. And the painting suffers. All that beautiful, breezy spring colour is lost in dark and dull shadow colours.
If it’s a daffodil painting, well, it’s just not going to work out.
Free live paintalong session next Tuesday
In this free live session, I’m going to take you through the world of light and shadow colours in yellow.
Painting a beautiful but simple set up of daffodils, I’m going to show why those colours can be hard, how to get them right, and what a difference it makes to a painting.
I’ll also be explaining an approach to colour mixing that applies to any colour and makes mixing colour much easier – with practice, of course.
Tuesday 9th March at 6PM UK time (10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern)
Just pop your email address in here and I’ll send you the link, along with all the stuff you’ll need to paint along – reference photos and a materials list.
See you soon!