Task 9: Colour Scales and Still Life

TASK: Understanding your media and how to mix/use colours

1) Make some painted tonal scales.
2) Make a colour still life painting incorporating appropriate colour tones and universal forms.

In my previous tutorial I used Oil Pastels. For this one, I will demonstrate powder pastels

Follow the link to my earlier blog to expand on this task:  CLICK HERE 

Task 8 looked at colour theory and ideas on how to mix colours. We will build on this with colour scales in this Task, but we will apply both to our still life art work.

You want a still life that considers composition, colour combinations and incorporates a range of universal forms. Think about colour theory to see which colours are going to appear in the art work and what mood this would create. Will it be an Analogous colour scheme perhaps? It is up to you. Also, use colour theory to help mix the colours and to create the tonal scales. Will the red objects incorporate oranges and yellows into the lighter areas? Or will a complementary colour give the shadows? Remember from Task 8 to try adding complementary colours to make paint/pastels darker, instead of black. Black can flatten an image if overused. Complementary colours are the ones opposite your chosen colour on the colour wheel.

How many objects shall I draw? One object is fine, but maybe 3 will give you the best arrangement. The Rule of Odds works well, so if you combine this with 3 different forms of objects, you will create a nice set-up.

Think about what colours you need first and do some colour scales so that you can plan the tones before you begin. How will you mix the colours to get what you need? How will you create the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows? Which colours would these be?

This task is about testing, experimenting and applying knowledge of colour. Trial a variety of combinations and you will see how the various colours used will impact on the overall feel and look of your art.


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Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART


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