2016 Topic 14: Colour Mixing
Well hello everyone, Darcy here with a brand new topic. We have had a couple of exciting weeks, but now it is time to get back to our challenges. This time we are going to explore colour mixing. There are two ways to approach this subject, firstly the actual mixing of colours to create another colour; but also the mixing/placing of colours within a project.
Of course colour has been used throughout history, with many civilisations experimenting with and developing pigments. The Egyptians used colours not just as decoration in their homes but also as cures for ailments. There are records showing the Chinese practiced colour healing too. These principles are still used today in colour/light therapy.
As the modern era became more curious it was found out that when light passed through a prism it did not come out white but instead was split into 7 colours. We now know these as the Spectrum. Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet.
Humans are very good at knowing when something looks good or not quite right, or makes us feel happy or not, but often we just don't know why. Unless you understand a little about colour theory it can be difficult to pinpoint just why something appeals to us.
Colour wheels are so very helpful, as are colour swatches and I would urge you to make samples of all of your paints, it saves so much time when choosing colours.
The primary colours are Red,Blue and Yellow. These are designated as the primaries as they cannot be made by mixing any other colours. All other colours are derived from these three.
Here you can see that when the primaries are mixed we end up with another 3 colours, Orange, Purple and Green, these are the secondary colours.
Once you have your primary colours and secondary colours you can create the next level which are the 6 tertiary colours. Each of these is made by mixing one primary and one secondary together. Very quickly our wheel grows until we have the 12 colours of the wheel.
Now we can create tones, these are the most pleasing-to -the eye combinations. They are subtle and complex, as there are several stages of mixing involved. To achieve tones you need to add both black and white which of course is grey. Tones are very effective in altering the intensity of a colour. Achieving the right one for the job can be time consuming, and not a little frustrating. Get used to creating colour wheels, swatches and of course taking notes.
Don't assume that you need equal parts of 2 colours, in fact what you are really creating are recipes. You can be very intuitive, add a dab of this and a dot of that, mix in a blob of something else and voila! you have your colour. Many happy accidents are created this way, but what if you want to recreate that colour?
If you make notes about how big or how many your dabs and blobs are then you can make that colour again and again. There are many colour mixing books available, but really all you need is a chart that you can fill in as you go.
So now you have your colours, and your mixed colours but how to use them? which colours will mix well within a project? This leads us to colour schemes.
Monochromatic schemes use any tint, tone or shade of just one colour. In this example the tints, tones and shades have all come from red.
Analogous schemes are made up of 3 colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel, One of these is a primary and the other two are secondaries or tertiaries. In this photo the analogous scheme is made up of blue, blue-green and green. Within this scheme you can also use any tints,shades or tones that result from these colours.
Triadic schemes are made up of 3 colours that are equally spaced from each other on the wheel. Here we have blue, red and yellow. When you first think of those 3 colours you may think bright and clashing, but start to customise them with tints, tones and shades and suddenly they look perfect together.
This is a beautiful abstract using blue and orange, these colours lie directly opposite each other on the wheel.
So how do you do colour mixing with PaperArtsy Fresco paints...
Frescos, of course, follow the same principles as explained above, however, as the colours are not arranged in the same way as traditional artist colours (quinacridones, Pthalos with the typical colour names) you end up with some very interesting results and a wider variety of colour options as you are starting from a different place than you would with traditional artist colours. This can be a very exciting process.
We have a great post coming up this week from Liz Borer explaining how to do this in depth, but for now be aware that the translucent paints will behave differently from the opaque, and both offer up all kinds of combinations and options, brightness and vibrancy.
We have always told you in basic terms that translucent paints are ideal for colouring in, as you do not lose the black stamped outline, however, translucent paints are also perfect for colour mixing.
If you start with Glass Blue, Bougainvillea, and yellow submarine, mix those to make secondaries, then add nougat, chalk or other pale shades, you will get some stunning colour variations. Try the same with a deeper blue (Inky Pool), or Red (London Bus) and use Pumpkin Soup as your yellow the results will vary again.
It is a great idea to keep charts of how you make these colours, then you can figure out how to get back to them again in the future.
There are so many beautiful colour combinations, and so many pieces of art that showcase the schemes so well. This is a complementary scheme.
Over the next 2 weeks we would love for you to try mixing your paints to create new colours, layer your translucents and learn which ones work and which ones don't, but also try out some of the colour schemes in your projects. Have fun!
Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there!
I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!
We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.
All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Colour Mixing link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Aug 7th winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.
1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.
Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.
The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!
2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.
3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.
4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!
6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity!
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday Aug 7th (London Time)
7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.
8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted.
9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy.
Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!