Rebuilding Foundations: 2012 Colour Studies – Unit 1

Unit 1: Basics of Colour

I thought I’d dive into a self-directed study of colour by following the 1980s telecourse Colour: An Introduction. It’s always good to re-tune your instrument once in a while.

(Check out all my colour assignments here.)

Even though I’ve worked as a designer for over 20 years, and have had a good sense of colour for as long as I can remember (at least in my opinion), this telecourse has challenged me and refreshed my thinking on effective colour use, theories, visual perception, and visual literacy in design.

These notes give more detail on my experiences while completing this unit of study:

Click image to view the gallery for this unit:
Colour Studies 2012, Unit 1

The goals for this unit of study were:

  • to establishing primary and secondary colours
  • to define colour wheel model
  • to explore light/dark (tonal) properties of the primary and secondary colours
  • to explore  warm/cool (temperature) properties of the primary and secondary colours

My experiences while completing the assignments:

  •  I’ve completed most of the assignments on my Blackberry Playbook. I thought it might be a convenient and capable tool for colour exploration and basic mark-making. It’s a convenient tool for some things, but not ideal for everything.
  • In essence, I have much less drawing control than I’d like. With the generic stylus I’ve been using, painting little freehand lines and figures or little blobs of paint is quite easy, but drawing clean geometric shapes is cumbersome, because the stylus isn’t that accurate and the paint programs that I chose (free ones) leave much to be desired in terms of drawing tools. Some drawings, like the colour circle, had to be completed in Photoshop.
  • Check your tablet’s brightness setting before you begin, or all your colours may be too light or too dark.

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