The Colour Project

I like colour, I respond to colour and people frequently compliment me on my use of colour in my drawings. 

But did I think I knew enough about colour? No way!
In my colour project in 2008 I focused on colour for a period of time with a view to becoming better at understanding and using colour. The idea was to:
  • reinforce what I'd already learned - mainly to help me be more spontaneous in my use of colour
  • identify the gaps about aspects of colour which I knew I didn't know enough about - and set about gathering together information so I became better informed.
  • Plus along the way I hoped I would also be able to hopefully all those aspects of colour which I didn't know I didn't know - and then learn about those too!!!
It's a project I'm proud of. There's always more to do but below you can find the links to posts where I record what I found out

PLUS The Making A Mark Colour Project is now referenced in the "Recommended Reading" of the very popular 'Colour and Light' by James Gurney as follows
" by Katherine Tyrrell. Various resources for artists, including summaries about color theory with additional links."


Colour and Color - an online project

This is a two month project about colour on my blog Making A Mark. It will include review of books on colour Other bloggers are invited to participate in the project and in producing book reviews.

Learning about Colour - Art Book Reviews for Artists #1

Provides a synopsis of the books covered in Learning About Colour below. Indicates who each book is suitable for

Using Colour - Art Book Reviews for Artists #2

Provides a synopsis of the books covered in Using Colour below. Indicates who each book is suitable for

Making a Mark: What is Colour?

I’ve come up with seven different ways of looking at and responding to the question “What is colour?”
  • A scientific perspective – how we experience colour
  • A materials perspective – pigments and dyes
  • A classification perspective – naming chemical and paints
  • A systems perspective – models for thinking about colour
  • A behavioural perspective – mixing colours
  • A cultural and symbolic perspective – in art history
  • An experiential perspective – from representation to emotions

What is colour? How do we experience colour? This post will focus on the science of colour - in simple terms:
  • The defining characteristics of colour
  • How colour is made
  • How we see and think about colour

Colour - a materials perspective #1 - pigments and dyes

This post provides a materials perspective on colour for artists and a basic overview of pigments and dyes. Pigments and dyes are a prime component of the colour used by artists

Colour - pigments and related colours

I want a table which tells me all about different colours - and relates pigment to colour names to chemical names and then explains what all that means. But can I find one on the internet?

Colour - naming dyes, pigments and paints

Every pigment has an international classification and standardised name BUT not every colour is what it says it is. In other words the names can continue even if the manufacturers has switched to using different pigments.

Colour Schemes: Split Complementaries, Triads and Tetrads

About three types of colour combinations:
  • Split Complementary - a colour plus the two colours either side of its complementary colour 
  • Triad - any three colours which are equidistant on the colour wheel
  • Tetrad - any four colours which are equidistant on the colour wheel

Local Colour and Realism

Try looking for definitions of 'local colour' on the web and you'll often find explanations rooted in literature, where interestingly it often seems to mean introducing aspects of local life which are distinct and different.

The colour of weather and time

Colour varies according to the time of day and the time of year and where you are on the planet.

Symbolic Colour

Colour has meaning. Colour is symbolic. Colours remind us of things. Local colour is the colour which we see, while symbolic colour is the colour we need to interpret. This post provides an overview of some of the meanings of different colours

Describing a colour space - there's more than one colour wheel!

Over time, many people have tried to develop ways of thinking about how colours relate to one another in space.

Correcting colour: How to stop your white paper looking grey

I very often see people posting images of work on white paper where some of the white paper is showing - but it looks grey. Very often the colours in the image are also very muted.

Color Interaction

This is a test to see how color interacts with other colours. Click the link and tweak the arrows and try and match the inner squares so that they are the same hue and value - and then tick the box in the middle to see how you did.

The History and Story of Unison Colour

An account of how the colour ranges of Unison Pastels are made

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