Playing with Colour

Colour Swatch 1

Colour Swatch 1 Orignal Image

I am painting a picture for a close friend for her birthday and it is causing me a great deal of concern as it is not my usual style.  I have this vague idea in my head but it is not coming out on paper and I am having to do something I do not normally do, a lot of preliminary drawings and computer work.  I am usually really good and working things out in my head, I am lucky to be able to picture how things will look and fiddle with them without having to put them down on paper.  But this is not one of them.  (As the painting is a surprise and my friend reads this blog I cannot give too much away).

But I have persevered and after five attempts I have a rough sketch done and am now working on the colours.  These have to be right as she is an interior designer with very highly trained colour sense. No pressure at all!!!!

I want to use some paisley patterns in the picture and the lovely turquoise colours that she loves so much, but my first efforts did not work.  So I decided to break out all the colour design theory that I have learnt over the years and do some swatches.

I used pictures of paisley patterns that I had found on line that I liked the colours of and went into photo shop and made some swatches of the colours.

Colour Swatch 2

Colour Swatch 2

Colour Swatch 3

Colour Swatch 3

Colour Swatch 4

Colour Swatch 4

I also found this great web site that lets you play on the colour wheel with the different colour combinations, didn’t that take up a great deal of time playing.  Here are some of the results.  For those of you not familiar with some of this theory there are groups on the colour wheel that go together and have different names.  See the dots on wheel, they show you the groups and you can slide these around to find the different colour combinations you can make, while the box of colours puts them together and gives you the different values and saturations of the colours you can use.

Colour Wheel triad

Colour Wheel triad

Colour Wheel tetrad

Colour Wheel tetrad

Colour Wheel anologic

Colour Wheel anologic

Colour Wheel accented anologic

Colour Wheel accented anologic

Colour Wheel accented anologic 2

Colour Wheel accented anologic 2

It is so interesting to look at the colour wheel colours and the swatches above, you can see that they match up to  certain extent, did they now the theory or was it instinctual?

Wish me luck, it is a stylised portrait and I don’t do figures that much.  I think I know my friend’s face better than my own right now and I don’t think that is quite right.

Karen

PS.  I would love to recognise where the other paisley pattern pictures came from, but I can’t find them again on the web, and I saved the images a few years ago before I was blogging and more careful to save the origins of pictures taken from the web.  Apologies if I have not credited your design.

6 responses to “Playing with Colour

  1. The main thing I have to say is ‘what a fantastic friend you are!!!’ I doubt I would ever go to so much trouble for anyone. Sorry world. I sometimes give my work to friends if they like it but that is different to creating something new especially for a friend – and having to go to a lot of effort to do it. You ARE lovely, Karen. Love your swatches. I read recently in my David Horning book “Colour: A Workshop for Artists and Designers” about making swatches but it isn’t something I ever remember doing. I haven’t seen that colour wheel site on computer so thanks for sharing that. Will you put the finished work on your blog? After you friend has been given it of course.

    • I just got my copy of the colour book, thanks for recommending it, it is why I thought of the swatches.

      I do get carried away when I offer to do a painting for others and I have done a few commissions for this friend for her interior design. It is always interesting as we have very different ideas. I like the challenge (I just have to keep reminding myself of this). She has been a very good and extremely generous friend so I hope this is some return.

      I will certainly post the result, it will be in September.

      Karen

  2. Oh I loved reading your thoughts on colour. The paisley swatches were gorgeous and then I so appreciated seeing the swatches you created. I’ve learned bits about colour theory often over the years but my mind always fogs over pretty fast after we get out of complimentary. Your computer work showed such good examples of the different relationships. Thank you. Will look forward to seeing finished work!

    • I know what you mean about fogging over with colour theory, I love it and find it so interesting, but I don;t think I will ever get straight the differences between, hue, value, saturation etc.

  3. I used to make quick visits to the hardware store to “sample” paint chips. I wish I had saved all of mine from art school! I’ve only been working in black and white for a few years now so I haven’t been worried about colour, however lately I’ve been getting the colour itch.

    I need to start a new collection.

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