Tuesday, August 20, 2013
One of the challenges that many beginning artists have when painting is getting to grips with colour theory. It can be daunting with many formulas, favourite primary colours and different colour wheels to choose from. Too often the concept of colour mixing and determining the correct value and hue is misunderstood and mud happens more than is liked.
I'm determined to simplify the colour process in my workshops by breaking it down into basic colour mixing, understanding just what colours are in some of the primaries and why mud happens. While there are a number of colours on my palette, some are standards, some come and go. Here are the most common:
Cadmium yellow light
Cadmium red light or medium
Raw or burnt sienna
From these I can mix pretty much any colour I want using variations of primary secondary and tertiary colours. One of the exercises that I use in the workshops is getting participants to match colours on paint chips and in common objects. This helps students explore the paint colours and understand the effects of one colour added to another and everyone really enjoys the challenge.
In the image above, I was matching paints to Mango Madness, a BEHR paint chip. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to have this colour covering a whole room in my house, but I LOVE the colour. What do you think? Did I get it right? Next time you're in a hardware or paint store, grab some paint chips you love and take them home to try to match the colour in paint. And don't forget to write down what colours you used to get that hue, along with a paint swatch on paper or canvas. Its a great resource to keep colour swatches and notes about them.
This exercise and lots more will be used in my Painting Realistic Water and Palette Knife Painting workshops that are available this fall and winter from my studio in Flatrock, NL. Registration is simple, classes are relaxed and learning is guaranteed. For more details or to register, visit my website. I'd love to see you in the studio soon.