Color Crush Creative Palette 9: Roy G. Biv

Last week I asked for feedback about Color Crush Creative and I got an overwhelming, consistent response from those of you who replied - you need more help with color mixing!

I think I take color for granted because I've been painting and working with color for over 25 years. Only after looking back at my early experience can I see where I started and how much of a struggle I went through to see color and understand how it works.

My goal is to help you feel good about creating and sharing your original art, to include color mixing, value, composition and technique. So, this week I am launching a special 8 week color project to focus on color education, mixing and creating with color confidently. Are you ready for a Summer of Color?


Image credit: @robertandstella@nibyniebo_@twiggyabi & @juutlovesfood

Introducing Roy G. Biv. This is a fun English acronym for the colors of the Rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Are you ready to dive into color? For the next 8 weeks together we will explore each color and how to make it sing. I think this is just the right project to help beginners and experts alike really boost their color skills.

To get started, this week just have fun with the rainbow. Anything goes! Use one color, use all...paint in saturated hues or tone them down with different values. Mix, match, blend and explore, and don't forget to use white! And while you play, I will be working on bringing you more great information, to include more blog posts and soon even videos!

Here are a few important keys to using color successfully:

1. Vary the proportions of color. It will keep your artwork interesting if the color choices are NOT all equal in amount. Choose one to be the dominant color and others to be secondary. Sometimes this can be explained as "Gallon, Pint, Cup, Tablespoon".

2. Use a range of values. This means lights and darks or intense and soft. If you use the same level of value for all your colors your artwork will fall flat.

3. Give your eye somewhere to rest by allowing breathing space in your artwork. You may have some areas of great action, movement and intense color, but allow for some space of calm and rest. You can use white or a non-dominant color.

4. Limit your palette. Of course this is where Color Crush Creative has been coming in handy by providing weekly ideas on limited palette colors. A rainbow of colors may seem like a great idea but it's much harder to focus your artwork and create a cohesive piece when you have too many choices. So, pick two or three and give it a whirl.

5. Practice, practice, practice. If you make mud, start again. Pull out your three PRIMARY colors (red, yellow, blue = Cadmium Red medium, Cadmium Yellow light, Ultra Marine Blue) and mix up as many combinations as you can. When you've exhausted those colors pick a different set of three (Pyrole Red, Hansa Yellow and Cerulean Blue). And so on... Only by doing will you really begin to understand!

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