Let’s talk Taboo’s. All throughout my art education the gospel rang “never use black from a tube, always make your own,” so I did. I had my one formula that I loved: a bit of Alizarine, some Ultramarine, a touch of Phalo, and my all-time favorite Schmincke brown. It was a lovely rich black with a good amount of transparency, and I was content and a good art student.
Then one day I did a photo-shoot featuring black leather against black PVC pulling a black nylon with a black cotton zipper running up the middle, all in a black room. This presented a challenge. When I did the study, all my blacks were similar because my “favorite recipe” kept coming back to haunt me, despite throwing in a bit more Alizarine, less Ultramarine, and even went so far as to use different colors. But it just wasn’t enough, and it was hard to get the same black. So I decided to break the cardinal rule and ordered 5 different blacks and found, after doing some color swatches, that my salvation was in sight! Van Dyke Brown (yes, it’s considered a black) gave the depth of the background while Ivory Black made great black leather, Spinel Black made for brilliant black nylons, and Mars Black kicked ass for PVC and vinyl.
I of course added color to change the hue and temperature of all the materials, but the base was solidly different enough for 5 blacks to read as different. Orange has always been the color associated with learning, but for me that color is now black.
So be bold, break those rules, and shake up the old paradigm!