Color Theory

Using Color

For years I have been trying to figure out how to teach a good class on the use of color. Not about color theory (which is useless without being able to apply the concepts) but about the use of color. You see, I think most of us use color rather mindlessly. I mean that we give little thought to how might we deploy this element to service our artistic goals. And, to be fair, I can’t blame people for focusing on the technical aspect of this huge topic. It is extremely easy to become overwhelmed with all the technical information out there. Some friends of mine have used the verb “drown” when they talk about navigating the ocean of color supplies, advice, paraphernalia, terms, theory, research, and safety warnings about its use. But it should all boil down to this simple, es...[Read More]

Thinking About Color

“I just start painting very excitedly and the last thing I think about is my palette. Most of the time, composition keep me so busy I completely forget about color.” “I feel like an outsider during visits to the art store. I must be the only person in the universe that does not know what colors to buy!” “My palette is so garish. Everything looks fine in the beginning but when I finish I see my colors are too bright for my taste.” Color is one of the dimensions of design that seems the most inscrutable. While almost everyone can appreciate size, texture and contrast, color perception is highly individual. To complicate matters, as humans we have developed a series of terms to discuss color that vary enormously from person to person. Then there’s col...[Read More]