Color study art journal page

Posted: May 7, 2012 in color study
Tags: , ,

One thing that I love to do in my journal (as much so I can find them later as any reason) is color study work. I try to find some really unusual, prolific color choices in a piece of art or in ephemera, in this case some artists’ gift wrap from the turn of the century. I believe this was included in a collection of papers that I bought from Borders quite some time ago; they are unusual in the extreme, some of them so “busy” as to be hideously attractive which can move very quickly to plain hideous if the artist isn’t careful. This paper was the first one to catch my eye one day when I had the urge to do a color study. Here’s the way I go about it. I will take a medium, in this example the top color blocks are Neocolor II Caran d’Ache watercolor crayons which I super love and have a large set of. So I go thru the stash and pull out the closest matches to the colors used in the papers. I write the name of the color above the swatch. Underneath the boxes of color you will see some brush strokes where I did a more translucent sample. The blocks at the bottom are Prismacolor colored pencils. You might like to know the purpose of why I do these studies. First of all, I just like doing them, they are fun and spur me to get the supplies out and reacquaint myself to them. Secondly, they illustrate what a wild color scheme is actually made up of…perhaps when you look closely to do the study you see 2-3 colors there that weren’t obvious before. Thirdly,  when you lay the colors out to the side in boxes, they look really cool and nothing like the wild pattern you’re trying to study and fourthly, now I have a color palette that I never would have come up with on my own, that I can translate into my own painting or bead work. Plus, it is a palette that is quite original and not the fad or fashion, but it’s played itself out in front of you so you know that it (or a combination of some parts of it) are going to work for you. So the whole reason I show you this is for you to shake the dust off your materials and find a piece of paper or fabric or artwork that is a riot of color and sit down to match up and document that article. Maybe you can come up with another 4 reasons to do it that I haven’t thought of yet. If so, please LMK.

  1. Diana trout says:

    What great fun! I love to do color studies and never thought to do one this way

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I really like this idea! I take my watercolor pencils, paints, and sprays and create a guide with them that I can refer to (how they look direct to paper, over gesso, watered down, blended, etc), but I really like this notion of taking those inspiration pages lying around and doing color studies (and perhaps shape?) with them. It’s a good practice, and something I can do when I am not feeling well or up to other activities. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • crickyn says:

      you’re welcome and thanks for the comment. i like your idea of “testing” supplies in different conditions, too. sometimes i’ll do a color chart but i hadn’t thought of the gesso and blending…good stuff!

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