I've been working through the book 'Colour' by David Hornung for a couple of months.

Despite all of the courses and training I've done over the years, I've never been taught any colour theory beyond the basic colour wheel and simple complementary colours. Last year I did read 'Interaction of Colour' by Josef Albers and whilst it was interesting it just didn't click with me so I continued to look for another resource. 'Colour: A Workshop for Artists & Designers' was probably one of those website suggestions 'You bought this, you might also like...'. It contains practical exercises that you can do in paint or on the computer - that sounded more like my kind of thing.

I decided to do the painted exercises (I spend far too long at the computer already) and chose to use the Liquitex Acrylic Gouache from the list of suitable options. The lessons are designed to teach one aspect at a time with a description of the theory before each study is introduced. I'm not a painter, so the colour mixing was new to me, but working through the lessons was straightforward. 

I would heartily recommend David Hornung's book. I learnt a lot, some of it still sinking in, but it makes a great starting point particularly if you like learning by doing.



p.s. To anyone musical, I apologise for the fact that the image changes don't match the music. I've been trying out a new app and I'm sure there's a way to fix it, but so far no luck 🤦‍♀️ Think I'll go back to iMovie next time... 


Part way through the book, after cutting out measured squares from my colour swatches, again... I came across Jane Davies and had the sudden urge to paint wild, flamboyant abstracts to counteract the precision of the colour exercises. Abstract painting became my next project, but I ran the two alongside each other - painting swatches for the colour studies and using the leftover palette to make collage papers and try out the abstract studies. You can read all about that project next - Abstract Art.


Information : : 

Book: 'Colour: a Workshop for Artists & Designers' (3rd Edition) by David Hornung. Also includes links to a few video tutorials.

Note about paint: Read the book to find out which paints to buy before you start. I went with the Liquitex Acrylic Gouache, bought from Ken Bromley Art. I don't have anything to compare it to, but you can paint with it straight from the bottle and it's easy to paint the dense, matt swatches you need. I've worked through the book and still have some colour left in all of my bottles, apart from the white - I'm nearly on my 3rd bottle of that.


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I live and work in Worcester in the UK. If you'd like to email me sayhello@karendewson.com