Have you ever looked at a painting and felt particularly fond of it, or been in an environment that feels comfortable and beautiful, but can’t quite explain why? In fact, our instincts guide us to choose colours that resonate with our emotions. When we see different shades of green, we think of the forest and feel healthy. When we see blue, our mood flies towards the open sky or the deep blue sea, perhaps evoking a sense of high-tech sophistication. When it’s cold outside, seeing a yellow light source can make us feel warm, as red and yellow hues remind us of fire and sunshine. These are all subtle sensations we have about colours.
After practicing colour preparation, my sensitivity to the surrounding environment has increased, and it has helped me quickly identify changes in terrain and climate using colours. For example, the plants in Melbourne appear in a gray-yellowish-green due to the unpredictable rainfall and strong sunlight. On the other hand, the greenery in Taipei is very saturated and vibrant because of abundant rainfall and humid air, which has made the vegetation healthy, strong, and vibrant. I have also discovered that colours may not be noticeable when they stand alone, but when they are combined with other colours at the right time, and with adjustments to proportion and composition, their powerful energy immediately emerges!
In the past, my approach to learning about colours was limited to watching videos and browsing websites. After spending 10 minutes watching a video, I thought I had learned it all, but in reality, I had only seen it. Without actually getting hands-on experience and making things myself, no matter how many times I watched, I could not internalise the knowledge, and when it came time to use it, I still did not know where to start. The process of learning about colours, whether it be for digital or hand-drawn media, is the same. There are no shortcuts, only repetitive practice and constant experimentation.
I think the most effective way is to take out all the colours you have, test them one by one, and then write down their names to create your own colour chart. Then, use the primary colours (red, yellow, blue) to mix and feel the relationship between the colours. Next, you can try adding white, gray, and black to individual colours to see how they change. Through this practice, you may be surprised to find that you only like warm colours, or maybe you only like the combination of orange and green, and so on. In any case, having this powerful skill to know myself and to stimulate more creative feelings always fills me with joy. I hope colour mixing can also become your magic tool!”
Here has a links from artist Marco Bucci’s channel, that I found very useful. He explains colour theory in a simple and interesting way. Check out his two lessons, “Colour Harmony” and “Colour Notes” in the <10 Minutes to Better Painting Series>
Wish you all the best,
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