Munsell, a Color Matching System for type (A) Painters

Match Made in Heaven

If you want to know what local color you see in nature, and want a scientific method to match that color, then the Munsell Color System may be just what you are looking for.  This is a near perfect, color matching, solution for those that seek out a recipe and follow it step-by-step. They can determine all the colors they will need to reproduce an exacting replica of the thing they are painting. They can pre-mix, match, and take all the quess work out of the equation. They know their color selection is correct because they followed the system, what more could one ask.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a type B personality, in which case following a recipe is totally out of the question.  This, once again, gets into the difference between the copiers and the creators. Those who are content being a cover band for nature and those that choose to follow a different drummer. For one, I don’t really buy into type A, type B, theory, but it makes these kinds of comparisons fun. I wrote a thesis on color theory several decades ago and concluded that the arguments are circular, much like philosophy. All of the usual systems, like Munsell’s, don’t really fit neatly into artistic practice. Logic tells me that anything that is seemingly a logical solution is too confining for most creatives. I have to admit, it is a great diversion to learn any of these systems instead of having to confront a blank canvas and think.

Munsell, Color System

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