Octanic Colours

I often have problems when mixing my colours and I think that Jeanne Dobie’s book “Making Color Sing” is actually helping me out. She has a colour theory for mixing colours, which is quite simple to understand once you get through the logic. I hope that I do not mix you up -)

I first created a colour wheel with some of the colours that she recommends…
• On the cool side goes: Rose Madder Genuine, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine and Winsor Blue;
• On the warm side: Aureolin Yellow, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red.


Then looking at each colour

• Rose Madder Genuine & Alizarin Crimson have some blue in it;
• French Ultramarine has some red in it;
• Winsor Blue has some yellow in it;
• Aureolin Yellow has some blue in it;
• Cadmium Yellow has some red in it;
• Cadmium Red has some yellow in it.

The idea is to choose, for example’s sake: a blue pigment with some red in it like French Ultramarine and a red pigment that has some blue in it, like Alizarin Crimson. As both pigments have the other pigments undertone, these will create vibrant or octanic colours.



























The same goes for creating a vibrant orange. Camium Red + Cadmium Yellow
















The same goes for green: Aureolin Yellow + Winsor Blue will give a vibrant green. However, if you mix a Cobalt Yellow (that has red in it) with a French Ultramarine (that has red in it) then the colours muddy… see below.


4 thoughts on “Octanic Colours

  1. Très intéressant Jane…mais que veut dire ”octanic”? As-tu commencé tes cours avec Marc?


    1. Allô Lynn,
      c’est le terme que Jeanne Dobie utilise et il n’existe pas dans mon dictionnaire. C’est sa propre théorie? Je commence avec Marc au mois d’octobre et j’ai bien bien hâte -))) Elle dit ceci: “octanic is my expression for color with the greatest impact”


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