As a colour blind artist (please get the sniggering out of the way now please) I have always predictably struggled with the application of colour to my drawings and it’s underlying theory (theory meaning philosophically as opposed the science of light in this context).
Since making the seismic shift into applying colour to my work (from exclusively black and white) I had thought the best approach would be to use haphazard combinations of very bright colours (something I can discern mostly) which I think has served me pretty well in the confidence and development stakes – however, I have little or no idea how people – with what I would term normal colour vision see my drawings…are they garish? Jarring? Who knows? The thing is I cannot really analyse this with any accuracy is really where my problem with colour presents itself.
I have started to have some thoughts on beginning to refine this steamroller of colour I have been travelling upon. What I really want to do is understand what I am doing more completely and form a better idea of how someone viewing the drawing is likely to see it…I know that I have stumbled into a hugely subjective area but the careful manipulation of colour will help me to add further depth to what I am doing and allow me to explore an idea more fully. I.e. Red – anger, blue sad etc…
I think I need to:
Use basic colours (at the very least at first) and understand there basic meanings in the wider world and what they mean to me, something I have will fully neglected up until this point.
Explore how colours work together, the potential message they convey and do they fit with what I’m trying to achieve.
I want to refine what I see as bright, jarring colour which I have been using. I will say though that one of the reasons I used this type of colour is because I wanted to convey energy and life, a microcosm of life and energy if you like.
So with all this in mind I will tell you about the next tentative step…the rotring isograph. I bought one of these pens a long time ago and was probably a little intimidated by it because of all the variables it carries, mix your own colour, refill, reusable etc so never used it, got to know it and on top of that it had to be cleaned and maintained- I took the easy route. After the pencil I became accustomed to disposable fine line pens which have served with distinction, especially the Sakura Pigma Microns, great tips, archival quality inks and appear to be pretty lightfast – but the main problem is the massive limitations in respect of choice of colours, I tried all sorts of others but I never really trusted them. This left me in no mans land so I was forced to take the leap into the unknown – mixing my own colours in a pen I need to clean.
So after a few times of trying and giving up, reverting back to the trusty microns I ended with a couple of pens not used and filthy. This had to stop so I have now cleaned them and am determined to make them my primary instrument. Why? I have since discovered that the line quality is incredible, obviously the whole colour thing and the precision is not matched by anything else I have ever tried. Watch this space as I am sure making this change will send my drawings in another direction.
The featured image at the top is a drawing I’ve been working sporadically on for quite a while and I think it is beautiful for its stark contrast but what if it was subtly coloured? Exciting times.
Watch this space.
Thank you as always for taking the time to read my ramblings.