Colour – Working with it…

Okay the heading could have said “Colour – working against it…”  as sometimes that seems like the case.

Many students (and Artists for that matter) find working with colour a challenge, getting one colour to work well with another etc. So I’d like to challenge people to work with colour and build a resource they can refer back to time and again.


Here’s one I prepared earlier…

There are books on how designers can use colour and they have fancy cutouts and flip through sections of delightfully printed colours in many combinations, they can be useful tools to play about with and use.

To really make colours work for you, try and build a resource you have had to work on, mix the colours and try various combinations.

Imagine you have trouble using a particular shade, tint, hue etc. so it makes sense to work with that colour asa  starting point. So perhaps try a series of A5 cards where the colour in question is painted in the middle and you try various colours around the outside.

After a while you will probably end up with hundreds of combinations you have explored. Think about varying shades of the one colour as well.

You could try doing the cards hard edged and accurately painted, or just a few dabs of paint quickly applied.

In the end you should be able to develop cards for a very long time and find colour combinations which work for you.

Teachers: Consider setting an ongoing colour exploration task like this so your students can get into colour on their own terms and create a resource they enjoy working with.


One Response to “Colour – Working with it…”

  1. Gabrielle Jones on October 26th, 2010 10:18 pm

    I’ve found it easier to “purloin” the paint colour cards from the hardware store – the ones that display a combination of colours as well as those that are single coloured. I use these to judge a particular shade or tone of a colour I intuitively feel I should use, or, alternatively, to suggest colours that I would not have thought to use. This, of course, means you need the skills to actually mix the colours – but with a card to match i n front of you, your chances are greatly increased. In addition, it’s great practice to try to mix a printed colour accurately.

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