In contrast to Monday’s drawing in black and white course, we spent the Wednesday of half-term investigating colour in painting with artist, Karen Logan. In fact, Karen banned black and white from our palates for the whole day to help us think about how to mix and use paint to achieve different effects.
We began the day by taking about how different colours make us feel, and creating our own colour circles based on red, yellow and blue. These are the primary colours which cannot be mixed or formed by any other combination.
We then explored how primary colours can be mixed to form secondary colours – green, orange and purple. And how primary colours and secondary colours can be mixed to make tertiary colours – yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green.
After we’d made our colour wheels we had a little competition. Working in pairs we used clear coloured cellophane and torches to see how many colours and hues we could mix and name. It was very close, with heaps of great names flying around. The favourites were sage and crimson.
We then looked at pictures by painters who are famous for using bold colours like American artist, Mark Rothko and Scottish artist, Craigie Aitchison. We thought about how they used colours to create mood in their work and the effect of adding everyday images, such as a portrait of Craigie Aitchison’s dog, Bedlington, into bright backgrounds.
So then it was time to start our own big colour paintings. To help us think about mood, Karen played us three very different kinds of songs. As we listened to them we chose colours and made shapes to capture the mood of the music.
We then decided on the mood that we wanted to create in our work, and used our colour wheels to help us to pick and mix our paints.
We created our paintings on huge sheets of textured hand-made paper, experimenting with different techniques, from bold colour washes, to detailed mark-making to building up layers of paint, to create a really diverse range of colourful paintings.