Friday, 22 October 2010

Colour Mixing with Chris Hough

I am going to miss this session when I am away in San Francisco and so Chris kindly let me sit in on the Saturday group's. Despite the fact that I have had several sessions with several teachers on colour mixing, I suppose you can never have enough. Chris certainly brought a different approach and I found it very helpful So a few pointers that made sense. First the palette. Mine have always been pretty chaotic and Chris is quite clearly NOT chaotic: possible a bit anal for me, but order must help at the outset at least. So here's how he suggested you lay out your palette:
Keeping colours in a line and in the right association across the spectrum. Then he made one other suggestion that really made sense: give yourself four separate piles of white. That way you can keep it clean for each separate colour mix.
He gave us a severe lecture on the importance of priming: preferably two layers of white acrylic (Chris does 8!!). I suggested that you can give yourself a ground colour at this stage as I have done with grey which I have liked.
He then introduced two alternative approaches to colour mixing Recipe v Senses. The recipe approach is traditional in origin: "mix these colours in these proportions to get skin tone" where a more modern and potentially much more satisfying approach is  based on a subjective judgement of what colours look and feel like and is based on a more experimental mixing approach: does this look/feel right? He linked the 'sense' approach to Bauhaus and the influence of psycho analysis movement in the 20's.
Then we started mixing, working in pairs which was very reassuring. Chris gave us some objects and told us to try and match them. So here are a couple of examples of our efforts:

Not totally inspiring but closer than I might have got before trying to do more by eye. One piece of advice was to leave the white until last.
Unfortunately I had to leave the session before we got into mixing much more subtle ( and challenging)colours: the grey of the wall, the brown of the floor etc. However, Chris did explain the approach which is to go with what you think are the colours that exist in these ambiguous shades and use them as your starter. I could see how it might work but I have a real problem seeing colour (a bit of a set back for a wannabe painter!). So when someone says 'what colours do you see in that drab grey?' I have great trouble. When I am with someone who can 'see and describe' colour, I realize how hopeless I am. However, that will not stop me taking a much more 'sensual' approach to colour mixing when we get onto painting.

1 comment:

  1. Dad love this! I think those are pretty impressive matches xx