Friday, March 4, 2011

Understanding Hue, Value and Chroma

If you weren't familiar with Graydon Parrish’s prominent body of work 
Graydon illustrates a point
before attending his annual summer color workshop at Grand Central Academy of Art, (GCA)

New York City, 
you wouldn't know it any better upon completion. That’s because Parrish, a realist painter in the classical tradition, is one of those rare instructors intent on helping students understand the principles of his subject, not demonstrating how talented he is, or using the teaching forum to promote his work. 

"White Roses"  by Graydon Parrish
Mind you, Parrish is an extraordinary artist, as evidenced by the body of work on his website ( and the attached painting of his (a favorite of mine) “White Roses.” 
Taking a break from color mixing!
 Munsell tools of the trade
In the forefront of adapting the 
color theories of Albert Munsell for use in traditional painting methods, Parrish introduced 15 eager workshop participants (myself included) to the functional use of Munsell's unique, numeric system for accurately describing every color that exists.  Heady stuff, to say the least, but under Parrish's competent guidance, each student completed a complex series of color-mixing  and painting exercises and came away with an arsenal  of workable solutions for identifying color by its dimensions of Hue,  Value and Chroma. 

For an in-depth overview of Graydon's color workshop, check out the April issue of The Artist's Magazine and my article entitled "Rational Color."

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