Field project reflection: Colour Theory

Starting our first field project i was unsure of what to expect. We started off with some simple tasks like experimenting with primary, secondary and complementary colours, and how to achieve these using different shades of the primary colours. The tasks seemed simple at first but I soon learnt that it was a much more precise and time consuming process trying to achieve exact shades of colours. Trying to match exact colours (for example of vegetables, which was one of the practices) was a tedious but tremendously interesting experiment, because I hadn’t previously realised how many different colours including white and black (process black and mixed black) could create such a variety of shades of one colour. We experimented with colour swatch after colour swatch and with these I built up a fantastic sketch book and use it to refer back to my work whenever i need inspiration or a starting point for the colour scheme I’m going to use in a particular piece. This began to get me motivated to experiment more in my own practical work.

I had previously been afraid of using bold and bright colours in my work, and felt safe using darker more dull tones to achieve a more serious feel throughout my work. I quickly learnt however that the use of colour, in fact, could strengthen this if used in the right way. I began experimenting with different shades of one colour in my work and ran with it. I used a variety of complimentary colours that I associated with the Middle East (which relates to my practical work). For example, I tried to show the vibrancy of the culture through the use of bold colours like ultramarine blue and its complimentary colours cadmium yellow. This has become a pattern throughout my work now and I have been experimenting with bolder and brighter shades of the colours through the use of paint, instead of my previous habit of dulling them down with blacks and greys. This field project has given my work a new dimension and allowed me to think about and appreciate he colours i use in my work more, where I had previously not thought about the strength they can have to improve my works narrative. Overall Ive found this project to be extremely inspiring and have come away with so much more than I had expected. I am now excited to use more colour and specifically brighter shades of bold colours side by side in my work, to strengthen my pieces and to stop relying on duller colours with texture. I am so much more confident while working with colours now, and can already see an improvement in my work because of this and have started to really enjoy painting with colours again.

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