My 5G Chart

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color

Today was mostly spent visiting my rehab specialist to check out my knee which has begun to give me bits of non-cooperation. He suggested that I would likely be a candidate for knee replacement. Oh, no! He also indicated that taking care of it sooner rather than later is likely a really good idea. Since I expected that would be the advice, I had already made an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon for tomorrow afternoon. Ugh!

So I spent the afternoon painting another Munsell chart. This time I worked on the 5G chart.

It’s basically done with Phthalo Green moderated with Cadmium Yellow deep and the neutrals to modulate chroma. It surprised me that the Phthalo seems to have worked best of all my tube colors. I thought it would only be good for the 5GB chart. I’ll learn more when I work on that chart in the morning.

My 5G chart

Beginning to Explore Greens

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
SM Green chart from tube colorsLast year I did some charts of green from my new WSO oils. This gave me a decent starting point. But like all those beginners, the chroma is uniformly too high.
Exploring Greens
Chart of Greens
So I’m now turning to Munsell to see if I can mix some more realistic greens. That is, greens that actually appear in nature!
Royal Talens Cobra Water Mixable Oil Color Sets - Combo Set, Set of 10 colors, 40 ml tubes
Royal Talens WSO Starter Set
image 9142569 13717235

My 5Y chart

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
SM My 5Y
SM My 5Y
My 5Y chart
I feel like I’m making some progress with these charts. This 5Y chart seems to have caused me quite a bit less grief. I began today with making quantities of the Munsell neutral grays. I had gotten six containers to keep the paint piles in once they were mixed. I’ll see over the next week if the paint actually remains workable in these screw top bottles. If it does the paint mixing job may go most smoothly. Later today I’ll be in the Art Room with a number of us Foulkeways artists. We’re trying to get a monthly meeting where we can learn from each other and do some art together. Today we plan to discuss ‘Art Today: How does today’s art reflect the times we are living in?’

My 5RY(orange) chart

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
My 5RY

This one went more smoothly. I tried to get close to the highest chroma for each value. Then I reduced the chroma by using Munsell neutrals. When that didn’t appear to work well for the lowest values, I added a bit of burnt sienna or burnt umber.

It’s not perfect, but I’ll keep going. Color mixing is still not easy but I think I’m getting better at bracketing this time.

Next week I’ll do more.

Trying to Match the 5R Page

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
SM My 5R

Although I’m feeling quite insecure, I am willing to try doing this myself. Without picking up my own paints, mixing them, and learning how to make mixtures, I won’t really know anything about how to use Munsell.

I decided to start with the 5R chart.

The mixes here are as close to the chips as I am able to do at this point. Some look OK, many are too high chroma. I’m going to need to do a lot more mixing. Bracketing may help. I’ll try again tomorrow.

So many tube colors to choose from

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
numbered tube colors

Munsell should be helping but first I’ll need to learn more about how to use my tube paints to duplicate the Munsell chips from the Student Book.

numbered tube colors
Tube colors I already own

How to build my own Munsell Charts? First I sorted by tube colors by hue.


  • 1 – Cadmium Red Medium – Artisan
  • 2 – Cadmium Red Deep – Cobra
  • 3 – Permanent Magenta – Cobra
  • 4 – Alizarin Crimson – Artisan
  • 5- Indian Red – Artisan
  • 6 – Transparent Oxide Red – Cobra


  • 7 – Burnt Umber – Artisan
  • 8 – Permanent Orange – Cobra
  • 9 – Cadmium Orange Hue – Cobra
  • 10 – Burnt Sienna -Artisan
  • 11 – Burnt Umber – Artisan
  • 12 – Burnt Sienna – Cobra
  • 13 – Cadmium Yellow Deep – Cobra


  • 14 – Cadmium Yellow Light – Artisan
  • 15 – Primary Yellow – Cobra
  • 16 – Lemon Yellow – Artisan
  • 17 – Naples Yellow – Artisan
  • 18 – Yellow Ochre – Cobra
  • 19 – Yellow Ochre – Artisan
  • 20 – Raw Umber – Artisan


  • 21 – Permanent Green Light + Cadmium Yellow Light


  • 22 – Permanent Green Light + bit of Titanium White
  • 23 – Permanent Green Light – Cobra
  • 24 – PhthloGreen (Blue Shade) – Artisan
  • 25 – Transparent Olive Green – Cobra


  • 26 – Ultramarine Blue – Artisan
  • 27 – Ultramarine – Cobra
  • 28 – Primary Cyan – C0bra
  • 29 – Cobalt Blue – Artisan


  • 30 – Dioxazine Purple – Artisan

Building my color wheel

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
my color wheel

I started looking at the color bias wheel for my own tube paints. I have Cad Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cad Red Light. Instead of Rose Red I used Alizarine Crimson Hue.

Color Bias of Primaries

From then I did lots of mixing and built this wheel.

my color wheel
My Color Wheel

Amazingly it seems to give me lots of information about some of my tube colors. I’m beginning to feeling more confident that I’ll be able to mix my own Munsell charts. Tomorrow I’ll start down that path…

Pre-Munsell Color Work

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
color bias chart

Color Bias – Warm/Cool

I learned that every color has a particular bias (warm/cool) and therefore leans one direction around the color wheel or another.  A blue will either be a blue which leans toward violet, such as Ultramarine Blue, or it will lean toward green, such as Cerulean. The same is true with red. A Cad Red Light looks more orange than a Permanent Alizarine Crimson which looks more like a blue red. That’s because Cad Red Light leans toward yellow, and Permanent Alizarine Crimson leans toward blue. The same is true for Lemon Yellow which leans toward green, and Cad Yellow Light which leans toward orange. 

color bias chart

That’s how I learned to mix bright secondaries: Purple=Ultramarine Blue + Alizarine Crimson; Orange=Cad Yellow + Cad Red; Green= Lemon Yellow + Cerulean Blue

Applying Munsell Myself

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
SM White Rose Study

Although I’ve been following Paul Foxton for a bit over a year, this is really my first real try at using Munsell for my own paintings.

Ok. I’m convinced. Paul has taught me something quite valuable.


White Rose Study

White Rose Study


This study still has a long way to go to “match what I see”, but I know it’s much better than my earlier flowers.

My process:

1) I found a subject I wanted to paint

2) altered my studio a bit to allow me to paint sight-size as Paul does then sketched in the subject on my 5×7 panel (toned with burnt umber)

3) chose Munsell chips from the student book for the light/mid/dark values for the white rose and the green leaves

4) mixed up my WSO paints to match the chips

5) then began to paint: first the background, then the dark(lowest values) and light(highest values) on both the rose and the leaves

6) next the mid-values were worked in to the painting, blending only a bit as needed

The most challenging is still mixing up the paints to match the chips, so I know what my next project will be: mixing, mixing, mixing and more mixing!

Royal Talens Cobra Water Mixable Oil Color Sets - Combo Set, Set of 10 colors, 40 ml tubesimage 9142569 13717235

Munsell Neutral Value Study

Posted on Category:Paul Foxton - Munsell color
fullsizeoutput 110d

These Value Studies are designed to help my still life paintings improve. I’m finding them quite a bit more difficult than I had thought.

I asked a carpenter friend of mine to help. He agreed to cut up some 2×4 into 2x2s. Only after he did that he mentioned that the only 2×4’s he had came from old wood 2x10s that originally were part of a 3 hundred year old barn! So the cubes had once been part of a tree that was approximately 300-500 years old! It felt like a sacrilege but it was too late.

IMG 0157
My old cubes ready for the value study painted with acrylic- white, N5, and yellow

This turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Two of the cubes are OK, the white-N9 and the yellow-N8 are not too bad.

I’m quite unhappy with the N5 cube and the ground. They were both supposed to be N5. It doesn’t look like it is! So either my Munsell student book N5 chip is really an N4 or my ‘neutral grey’ palette paper is N6!

At any rate, I did learn that I was not able to paint the black dark enough for the shadow side of the N5 cube.

fullsizeoutput 110d
Value Study N9 N5 and N8

Another thought: These are really boring!!