Thursday, July 28, 2011

This thing called Colour!

So today I've decided to skip the history lesson and instead talk about this thing called COLOUR! I know, you are saying... "Wasn't that what we have been talking about this whole time??" Well, the answer is yes... and no. We've been discussing the USE of colour and but now lets talk about Colour itself :).
Colour Wheel Image*
So lets start with the basics.... the dreaded COLOUR WHEEL!

Why do I say dreaded?? Well, every class I've ever taught always follows my statement of "let's make Colour Wheels!" with a typical "SIGH!!!". (I blame it on mostly teaching children and teens.) So lets start:

You can think of this post as an Activity but not... all at the same time!

I've started with the basic supplies: PAINT- red, blue and yellow, Brush, Something to paint on. I am using watercolours this time, watercolour paper and a mid sized brush. (Watercolours are the easiest to use because you can just add water to make them change.)

First we start with a structure. I like to draw my colour wheel out first, 3 circles, 3 squares and a triangle like so (Don't mind my crappy photo's today. My lights and Camera weren't cooperating):

Basic Form
 Then I add Red, Blue and Yellow into the circles. These are a thing called PRIMARY COLOURS. No other paints can ever make these colours! You can use these colours to create most other colours.

Primary's So Far!
 Then in the squares I mix Red and Blue (which will make Purple), Blue and Yellow (which will make Green) and Yellow and Red (which will make Orange). These are called Secondary Colours.

Our Colour Wheel!

The neat thing with Secondary colours is that they compliment the Primary colours opposite them. This is why Christmas colours go so well (Red and Green)!

Yellow and Purple, Red and Green, Blue and Orange
With the invention of a million and one colours that you can purchase out of a tube you may think you don't need to know how to mix paint. Well, because of the insane amount of colour variations, you will find that being able to mix your own paint will always allow the colours you use to mesh nicely. The mixed colours will always be in the same tonal range as the base (primary) colour you used. What is fun to try in used a variety of blues, reds and yellows to see how they mix and what types of greens, purples and oranges you can get.

One thing to remember... you can always alter the shade of the mixed colour as well. If you add more blue to a purple it will be a cooler colour and more blue tinted... more red and it will look more burgundy (Tertiary Colours are Primary + Secondary, ex: Blue + Purple = Blue-Purple) . This is also something interesting to try if you never played with mixing colours before. I highly recommend using a scrap paper and trying out a bunch of different combinations to see what you get.

Now what do you notice if you mix ALL THE COLOURS TOGETHER? You get a yucky, mucky, browning colour... neat hunh?

If you need a colour darker add a little black (FYI: most black paint is blue tinted) and if you need it lighter (want to make pink) then just add some white (white + red = pink).

I found an AWESOME explanation of the Colour Wheel that you can buy in stores at this site: Curbly: Colour Wheel Romance. So if you want to further you knowledge check them out! :)

As for me I'm going to keep playing with my colours and next time we'll talk about WARM vs COOL colours.

Keep Creating
Angie :)

*Image from Acrylic Painting for Dummies by Collette Pitcher

No comments:

Post a Comment