Jeffrey Freedner is a talented and knowledgeable artist who was gracious enough to add to my post on the Prismatic Palette of Frank Vincent DuMond. One of Jeff's teachers was Frank Mason at the Art Students League. Mason, a student of DuMond, took over his teacher's classes in 1951 when DuMond passed away. I have decided to post Jeff's comments together here where they are more readily found, so that we may all learn more about this unique palette. Thank you, Jeff, for all of this great new information!
This is a great subject, and one that is close to my heart.I studied with Frank Mason, who took over the DuMond Class after his death in 1951 at the ASL. He still teaches in the same studio, but he's almost 87 and, from what I hear, not doing well.I studied with him for 3 1/2 years, and he took the class to Vermont every summer for a month to paint landscapes.Frank would do demos on this palette and the ideas you have already put forth.Basically, you're right on about the palette. It was based heavily on the use of Cadmiums, and all of the values were related to colors on the palette. For example, he would talk of Orange value gray* and then move down to find the same value of Violet and Green.*(I assume here that each neutral on the value scale corresponded to a color of the prism, ie. rather than referring to a tone on the value scale by a number, it was referred to by the prismatic color of the same value [note the use of the capital letter in naming the column, ie. Orange gray]. So, looking at my diagram of the Prismatic Palette from the earlier post, each neutral on the second row would be named for the hue directly above it in the prismatic row.)Here is his palette:Titanium White and Ivory Black1. Winsor Newton best-quality cadmium lemon yellow2. Winsor Newton best-quality cadmium yellow light3. Cadmium yellow medium4. Cadmium yellow deep5. Cadmium orange6. Yellow ochre7. Winsor Newton best-quality cadmium red light8. Cadmium red medium9. Cadmium red deep10. Alizarin crimson11. Cerulean or manganese blue12. Cobalt blue13. Ultramarine blue14. Pthalo blue15. Pthalo greenExtra colors:Raw siennaBurnt siennaraw umberburnt umberViridianGreen earth (terre verte)Frank added a line of Violet so you had the full spectrum of colors, then the row of grays, then violets, blues, greens, and he would add more triads of high value pinks and blues (pthalo blue).Mason mixed the greens from a Violet (a mixture of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson that on the Munsell hue/value/chroma charts would correspond to purple/blue 10PB-2/10. If you wanted it to be a little more towards red, then 2.5P-2/10). Cadmium yellow light was then added to this Violet, mixing the greens up to a Munsell value 6 (Orange value gray). The last three values of green were made using pthalo green and cadmium yellow light, with white added to bring up the values. (Viridian could be used instead of pthalo green to make a less chromatic and intense green mixture.).We would mix to a maple leaf, as this was the predominant green in Vermont, and it was a way of gauging if the green on the palette was getting too acidic.Orange value is the lowest value before turning into the shadow value. Cadmium red is already in shadow as a value. Of course, this can vary due to time of day, but the edge, or where it turns into shadow (which we mixed from cobalt blue and cadmium red), in a northlight studio during the day, is Orange, and the middle is Yellow Ochre.Hope this helps; it's a hard palette to master due to all of the cadmiums, but the key is the grays for studio painting, and the violets and blues for the outdoors.
To see more of Jeff's work, please visit his blog.