Colour Experiments

Recently I had an enjoyable afternoon doing some basic colour experiments …

This panel looks quite simple. Like there’s not much to it, or to think about. But actually I discovered quite a lot, the more I stared at it and analysed things.

I was mostly fascinated by the difference in tone of the two greens, oranges and purples. That a different order of laying the paint changes the tone and direction of the colour drastically.

Staring at these panels and writing my observations, I discovered that colour has direction, it’s relative, and the colour underneath paradoxically seems to lead.

For example take the Greens, composed of a blue and yellow. Relative to each other, this yellow comes forward and the blue recedes. When the yellow is the under layer (as in the top row of the image), the dominant direction is forward, resulting in a light bright advancing green. When the blue is the under layer (as in the bottom row) however, the dominant direction is backwards, resulting in a cool receding green.