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Question about Crimson...

Discussion in 'Oils' started by Eludia, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Eludia A Fixture

    The bust I'm painting at the moment has a Crimson sash and I'm after a bit of advice re shading/highlighting. Mainly highlighting as I've used a mixed green as a shading colour and it looks ok for now (the paint is still wet though so that may, and probably will, change).

    If I add white as a highlighting colour, like all reds, I end up with an opaque pink which doesn't look quite right. My usual approach to reds would be to apply progressively lighter reds (up to and including scarlet) wet-on-dry but how would that apply to Crimson? I'm not aware of any "light" crimsons although admittedly I'm still very much a noob when it comes to pigments so there may well be one out there, somewhere, waiting for me to find it ;)

    Any, and all, advice from all you "old sweat" oilies would be very much appreciated. Many thanks in advance :)
  2. Carlos Figure Art Active Member

    I personally don't like to highlight Red much, Id use Red or Crimson as the lightest colour and shade it down, Green is a good colour working down to a Green/Black. You could add a touch of Red to the Crimson for highlights, but I'd concentrate on the shading.

    Good to see you using oils! : )

    Eludia likes this.
  3. Angaliel A Fixture

    You can highligh to a maximum with white if you want. The result will be pink as you said before.

    Then when all is very dry, you can use very thin layers of pure crimson very dilluted, as glazing.
    If you still think its pink, then lets dry again, and apply another glaze...... and so on and on until you are satisfy.

    That way you have a very good light effect and still crimson color ;)
    Eludia likes this.

    Hou can highlight by adding a reddish flesh to partially avoid the pinking you get from adding white.

    Eludia likes this.
  5. Barry King Member

    Crimson is nothing more than red, mixed with a dash of blue, so using green to shade crimson is inherently wrong. Mix more blue (a dash of Prussian Blue will go a long way) with your red (use W/N Bright Red, a solid primary color red) to get your crimson base/shade tones. Add pure Bright Red for your highlights, and perhaps a dash of Cad Red mixed in for higher highlights.
    DaddyO and Eludia like this.
  6. Carlos Figure Art Active Member

    Because Crimson is a shade of Red, you can still safely use its compliamentry to shade it effectively from my experience. I'm not sure how this would work with darker Crimson that has a higher percentage of Blue ... Your best bet is try both options to see how it looks to your eye.
    Eludia likes this.
  7. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks for the quick replies guys (y)

    The shading looks ok this morning so I guess green is ok for shading Crimson as well as the more "red" reds. I suppose crimson leans more towards red-violet so in theory would be greyed with its compliment, yellow-green. I can't see that working in my head so I'll have a play around with some paints the next time I'm at my bench.

    Concentrating on shadows and making Crimson the highest light makes perfect sense Carlos, I'll give it a go :)
  8. DaddyO A Fixture

    Your other option would be the colour of undercoat. If you use yellow to undercoat red you will get a nice bright red. Undercoat Alizarin in red and glazing the shadows might be a simple way of doing things.

    Using Alizarin Crimson (Oil colour) is tricky because of it's transparent nature (or useful depending on your viewpoint)o_O However I agree with Barry, whilst usually I'd add some complimentary to shade a colour (in this case green, as you've done) you might find it dulls the colour too much, so a blue might give the crimson more perceived richness.

    Ultimately it all comes down to what you feel looks 'right'. A foot soldier on campaign might require a washed out effect to represent cheaper cloth dye and poor conditions, whereas you RSM on parade will want to look his best . . .

    Hope my somewhat long-winded waffle helps
    Eludia likes this.
  9. swralph A Fixture

    Recently I have been using yellow ochre to highlight red's.
    Eludia likes this.

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