Colour Theory and Professional Development

10 June 2021

Have you seen our Vlog?

Head to our YouTube channel and check it out – this episode Colour Theory and Professional Development
We will produce a monthly vlog now, and you can see it first in the Creative Makes Art Connections Facebook group. We will also include it in the newsletter, so sign up here people, because missing out is not an option!! (PS: We are looking forward to your comments and responses to these chats that we have. Your feedback is so valuable to what we will create and deliver.)

Professional development for artists – Why is PD so important?

We think PD is a vital learning opportunity for your own practice.
PD brings you into contact with others, takes you out of your isolation, and can create a sounding board for your ideas. As artists we can become isolated, so coming into a space where there is sharing of ideas and people to discuss elements of your creativity with is beneficial to our being as well as our creativity.

Bringing new and inspiring ideas, and joy, to our class participants, is so very important to us. By partaking in PD we are looking to ensure that we can consistently bring that special sauce component to our classes.

PD can be as simple as going to a new class or engaging in an activity that expands your horizons and exposes you to an idea. No one class will hold all the answers and by gathering ideas from different teachers and offerings you can create a delicious ‘soup’ of information to support your practice.

Jade and Mel recently undertook a Colour Theory class with Stella Greig, we highly recommend looking her up on Instagram @stella.z.artist

Stella has had an amazing career as an Arts educator, guiding senior students through VCE art. She now focuses her energy on her own arts practice and is a prolific painter. Join her newsletter and look out for her future exhibitions. Tell her Mel and Jade sent you!!

Colour Theory – What is it?

Colour theory is the art and science of how we use colours. We engaged with this topic to understand colour more fully, how it can elicit emotions, how to understand what was and to create with our signature colour.
Delving into Colour Theory can also be about learning how individual colours can make you feel, or the actions of Harmonious or Complimentary colours.

In Practice…..

Colour Wheel and Tones and Tints.
Using the 3 primary colours, red, blue, yellow, you create Secondary colours, green, orange, purple. Then you can create Tertiary colours by mixing the secondary colours with the adjacent primary colour.

We have a few products on hand to help us in this practice, one is a Mini Colour Mixing Guide (aka Colour Wheel).  The Mini Colour Mixing Guide show the results of colour mixing and promotes an understanding of colour theory and colour relationships. It also helps when mixing colours to have it as a comparison guide for the colour we are trying to achieve.

Satin Acrylic Paint Set this set would be considered in the ‘cool’ range of colours, so when mixing the blue and yellow you will achieve a truer green. However, when used to mix the purple it can be considered a little muddy (a bit on the brown side)

Dimension Acrylic Paint set this set would be considered in the ‘warm’ range of colours, so when mixing the red and blue you will achieve a truer purple. However, when used to mix the green it can be considered a little muddy (a bit on the brown side)

However, you don’t need to buy new supplies, use what you have at hand, or if you don’t have any paints on hand, buy what you can afford. Don’t stress about whether you have student or artist quality materials. The aim is that learning through the practice of creating a colour wheel from the mediums that you currently own will support your creative practice, and you will learn more about the supplies you have on hand.

From the 3 primary colours plus black and white you can mix most of the colours you need in the colour spectrum. Depending on the paints you have it will determine what the secondary/mixed colours will look like. Trialling the paints, we had was valuable to being able to move forward with our projects. Knowing your materials is a vital step in feeling confident and positive with your projects. So, take a key lesson from our first Colour Theory class, creating a colour wheel with the medium you currently have (paint/watercolours/inks) is a great first step to understanding your creative tools.


Using what we have learnt

Do you have a pen and paper?

Notation, notation, notation
Keeping notes of brand and colour name – get yourself a visual diary write it all down
Keep track of what colours you mixed together – swatch and note down the brands/colours you used as you go
Keep evidence of what motivates you – write down your thoughts, jot down ideas

Let’s face it, our memories are not eternal, so it’s important to keep a record as you go. If you would like to achieve a colour again you know exactly how to do that, if you have an idea that you can’t explore right now you have all you need in your visual diary to come back to it later.

Notation, notation, notation


A little bit extra

Colour Trends

Google Pantone Fashion Colours 2021 and you’ll see that we are in for green, red, blue, burnt orange, yellow, burgundy, brown… Hang on, that’s ALL the colours!!
We don’t need to stick with what is on-trend.
Use the colours that appeal to you to create depth and interest in your creations. As we are discovering, when you decide on your signature colour, it becomes the starting point for an amazing journey through a very beautiful palette of hues and tones.

Engaging in the Colour Theory class we feel has helped us to move through a series of steps to achieve the creative outcomes we were aspiring to. We would have got to a similar conclusion at one point or another, but having direction and structure has helped us gain understanding and insight into our own Art.

Mood boards

A well-considered Mood Board can assist us in understanding what motivates and moves us. (In relation to Jade’s practice, her Mood Board has inspirational artists, examples of form and shape as well as sculptural outcomes. Her Mood Board is an inspiration that can be returned to again and again to bolster her practice.)
You can create an analogue Mood Board via a large piece of poster paper and a pile of magazines. Cut out the images or text that relates to the theme of your Mood Board.
Want to go digital??
Pinterest is the go-to for creating Mood Boards for ANY subject that you can imagine, it’s available as an app and it is all just a click away!!

Starting the Colour Theory lessons gave us something to focus on during lockdown. Taking the time to complete the simple project of creating a colour wheel has literally blown our minds – try it, and show us what comes from your exploration.

Want more?? We have a Facebook group!!

Creative Makes Art Connections… Be Inspired to Discover Your Creativity. That’s what Creative Makes is all about, our ethos, reason for being, our mantra that drives us each day. This group is for the Creative Makes community to share, support and thrive in their creative lives.
Posts will include snapshots of Mel and Jade in their creative hours, the Famous (or Infamous!) Video Blog that Mel and Jade produce, to keep you informed and entertained! When there is something AMAZING to share we’ll post it here. Earlybird listings of workshops and classes, opportunities for participating in projects and links to other amazing art and creative news.
You are encouraged to share too. Ask questions, seek guidance, show us what you are working on.
Join here