Mar 26, 2015

How to have some fun with Colour Mixing Theory


Working on Theory,
Having Fun,
Should they really be in the same sentence??!!

Are you wanting to learn more about colour but tired of doing colour patches?
I am.
I want to have fun!!

My latest experiments have really got me excited.  As many of you have noticed over the past few months I have been dabbling with coloured pencils.  (Actually, I have spent a fortune on a few large sets of pencils!! Prismacolor and Faber-Castells)
THE SECRET PLACE - Coloured Pencil, 5 x 7 
The problem is I was tired of working with patches of colour.  They told me lots, I agree, but seeing them in isolation did not help me understand how they work in the picture.  You know what happens, you put a colour combination down and it looks awful.  But once you get things happening around it and coordinating with it, things are not so bad.  In fact it often turns out to be the right kind of colour for the spot!!

Well, my coloured pencils have really opened up the Colour World for me.  Using my pencils on Mylar film has been a wonderful boom.  First of all my colours are vibrant, they can be mixed and best of all I can actually erase a mistake without wrecking the picture!!  (Well not completely but lots better than in watercolour and you don't have to wait for it to dry!!)

I have found that I now have "No Fear"!!  I found myself attacking each area with a "hmmmm... let's try this.  What about this?  What if I add that?"  Very exciting! And if I really don't like it, off it comes.
The Secret Place - detail showing the underglazing for the leaves
The Secret Place - detail showing the leaves after adding the greens. 
Take a closer look at the two detail shots of  "A Secret Place".   The leaves are a perfect example of some wild colour mixing.  I laid in some red, indigo blue, ochre, yellow as an underglazing.   Then used my two greens a really dark cold green and a lighter warm green, I coloured on top.  Sometimes varying the pressure and mixing the layers: the greens separately and sometimes a layer of each.  For the really shadowy areas I returned with the indigo blue.  It was very interesting to see how the colours reacted and changed depending on the mixture. Including the reds and yellows really tied my flower colours to the leaves and gave them lots of interesting colour variations.  And the darks really had lots of life. On the detail picture on the left I used a bit of black for the dark.  You can see on the finished one on the right, the black area is really just a boring dark hole.  No exciting colour mixing happening there.

 So have some fun. Learn some Colour Theory.

Let me know how it works for you, I would love to hear your comments.

Have a great day,
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Brenda Hill CDM said...

good for you Wendy, I've tried but their just not me. The results look good!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

I know what you mean, I love playing with them but my first choice would alway be pencil!

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful work Wendy, BLW love your new website, great job!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Gillian, I am pleased with the new website, a big job to get it all up and running but the results were worth it!
I am glad you enjoyed my little chickadee. I haven't seen them featured in your blog lately, I know they flit and flirt around so fast it is often tough to get great shots unless they are eating!!