Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Question of Colour....

Colour theory .. we learn the basics in kindergarten... Red and blue make purple, yellow and red make orange.. you get it.
As we get older and develop our skills as artists ,Colour theory is often far down the list of priorities. A new technique, method or medium seems to take the stage and "Boring old colour theory" is placed on the back burner. So can we move it to the front of the line?...can we make it fun?Can we make it VITAL? make it IMPORTANT to the student? Can we make it the I HAVE TO TRY THAT product of the year?. Now how the heck are we gonna do that?

ok... I have an idea . it's in the form of a challenge.... Choose two primary colours, plus white
 and black . now cut and paste the sketch to the left or  I'll email it to you if you want, or create something on your own.. . Make it any size you like, and paint it... using only the Black , White and the two primary colours.

Make a secondary colour using the Two primary colours and a variety of values of that colour using the black and the white,  to finish the painting. You MUST mix all of the colours. You may NOT use the Black or the White by itself. You may use the Primary Colours by themselves as well.

Once you have finished it, scan it or take a pic, write a paragraph detailing what you learned from it. Email it to me and I'll post the results here.  Then we'll move on to Tertiary

This is not a test of your artistic abilites, it's not a test at all, just try it,  you may surprise  yourself with how much you DO know and how much fun it can be to paint using such a limited palette.

Come On .. Try it...I'll be painting right along with you..... I am waiting to see what you create!!


  1. What a great challenge Tracy.

    I will definitely try this. Color theory is sooooo much fun, but can also be very frustrating. Trying to remember my color recipes is what I find the most challenging. I have to get into the habit of making charts.

    I have tried painting with 3 primary colors + white and black or payne'S grey. To only use 2 primairies will be interesting.


  2. Creating a complete painting using a secondary colour and Black and White to develop the values, is a great skill builder.

    Try making your chart with EVERY value you create, and mark the ratio to the left of the colour sample. F you have a value scale use it to asess your accuracy and mark it on the right.

    You can really surprise yourself, and it's remarkabl;e how quickly you improve when you have a reference to go back to.