Assignment 3: Colour Books

On receiving tutor feedback for my colour work, it gave me the confidence to create 3 different volumes of colour books. I chose to keep this very simple and sewed the binding.

As suggested, I didn’t cut out every colour chip, but kept a fresher approach.

I picked out either off cuts, or samples that I couldn’t fit into the books as my front covers. The aim was to communicate an idea of what would be found in each book.

I don’t have a printer, so although the task suggested typing out any titles or notes, I had to hand write. This meant I kept writing to a minimum. I included a contents page for all three volumes in Volume I but didn’t feel the need to repeat the process.

As I worked with these, I understood more and more the importance of creating space. This was hard as I wanted to keep many pieces to one double page so that they could all be referenced with the main photo/image that I had used as a starting point.



Assignment 3: Reflection and Assessment Criteria

Part 3 had been a whirlwind. As always, I wish I could spend more time than I have on the tasks.  I feel that I am reflecting on this at a point where it is 80% complete. I would like to return and update these reflections once I complete the colour book.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed studying the colour in the Rubens painting. I would have happily spent more time on that, playing around with the different ratios of colour. It had so much depth. The more I looked at it the more I could see different colours and tones that I hadn’t picked out before. I have certainly gained more knowledge on the use and application of gouache and watercolour, the properties of colour mixing.

I have sent my incomplete book to my tutor. Despite picking up the pace a lot more in this assignment, I have still found it very hard to be bold with my selections. Learning how to choose what is priority to get everything done within the time allocated. I felt like I wanted to do more, explore more and play more, particularly with the yarn wraps and the collages.

So I would rather hand in the ‘book’ as is, since I am interested and excited at the prospect of considering presentation and layout. I have learnt that this part can often go unforgotten, and something I am clear and would like to focus on just as much as the making and the researching is how to communicate all that. I want to consider what are the moods of the colours I am presenting and what would suit best. I didn’t want to rush it for the sake of it. I feel there is a lot to learn in this area.

I have found it challenging to pick out my strengths here as I feel it is so unfinished and incomplete. I think some of my collage work has some interesting elements. With almost all of the tasks I found it imperative to try them out a few times. To do more than what is asked for as the first ones are often trials/getting it out of the way so to speak. More confidence is gained by trying this out, knowing that not everything hinges on one idea/experiment being ‘successful’. I am also learning to follow my own interest and voice. For instance although I did paint out some colour ‘swatches’ to use, cut and rip up. I was much more drawn to using found papers, old magazines or old art pieces.

To summarise what I feel is incomplete.

I have not:

  • written up my research on artists (Research Point 1)
  • Made and bound the book
  • Stuck in my work and added labels, considering presentation of themes, aesthetic and layout.

Reflection against assessment criteria

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – as I worked with the gouache, my understanding for its’ properties improved. The yarn wraps became less awkward the more I did them. My watercolour work needs some refinement and painting out stripes I realised I left some gaps in-between.
  • Quality of outcome – although there is no finished book I think there are the beginnings of communicating my work with some sense of coherence. There is an emerging format
  • Demonstration of creativity – this is probably strongest with the collages, especially the monochramatic and multi-coloured study. There is something about both that I have found to be my strongest pieces and I look forward to seeing how I can present them as a certain mood.
  • Context- some of this has occurred in the making. I have found making notes the best way rather than only rely on the blog. The blog allows me to summarise, but as I am working and making and experimenting many decisions are being made that are not noted or articulated other than in the way they inform my next decision

Materials and Composition

The collage studies.

Just as I did with the masters paintings and watercolour/glass vessels. I took some time taking photos of various ‘clutter’

I opted for the photo of the backseat of my car, which with a toddler becomes full of clutter fast! I’m still unsure if this was the best choice. What would make a good photo?

I struggled with my collage making even though I enjoy the technique itself. It was good practice to really study a confused composition, to have to translate the colours in to tones too. I found the solution with recreating the composition was to keep focused on any strong lines of direction and the main shape of the orange plastic bag to keep the focus and some sense of clarity.

The monotone piece was interesting to me, probably because the lack of colour allowed me to focus on composition.IMG_4230

Research Point 2: Digital Resources for Colour

Investigating and researching the digital resources has been a mixture of fun and interest and frustration! I tried out and played with all the links but found the Adobe and Colourpixel the easiest.

I found the concept of colour hunter is great – the fact that you can feed in an image and get a palette created:

The problem I had was with the interface (lots of pop up ads) and I just could not work out how to access my colour palettes! So I only ever got one at a time.

Using digital resources could really help when wanting to experiment quickly with how colours might look together. I did find inevitably when printing out that some colours weren’t true to what they had been on screen.

I found that there is a lot of work to be done between what is being selected on the screen and what goes to print. I discovered many of my colour samples did not print out well. They can look very different on different screens, and therefore come out very different in print.



Part 3: Colour Studies

I have ended up using my notebook more than the blog for this project, as I wanted to keep focussed on the practical tasks and literally took notes as I went.

I will briefly summarise my thoughts here:

Project 1: Colour Palettes and Proportion

I enjoyed working with gouache although achieving the delicacy of each colour takes a lot of practice with colour mixing

The yarn wraps are a fascinating way of dissecting colour- st the point of taking these notes I’ve made two so far and need to look at other examples and blogs to get an idea of the different ways and interpretations to create one.

The same with the watercolour studies.

I took a number of photos and spent a bit of time choosing composition etc. The changing light inevitably changes the colour tones for an exercise like this and I am aware that capturing and ‘fixing’ would only truly work if I had worked from a photo rather than a real still life.