How did Vincent Van Gogh work out his colour schemes?

Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh used balls of wool to work out his colour theory? Or that some of the paint pigments he used have faded?

This 8 minute video from the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains some of Vincent Van Gogh’s approach to colour and illustrates how some of his paintings would have looked like when first created.

Take a coffee break as it is worth watching.

Have Tones and Tints delivered to your inbox!

Subscribe to Tones and Tints by Email and receive my latest post when I update.


Colour Scheme fun

Colour schemeChoosing a batch of colours that sit together can be a bit frustrating at times. For people who paint and sketch they can often see a good colour scheme in life, directly in front of them.To my mind this is an easy way to discover colour.  Textile artists often let the materials indicate the colour scheme. So a quilter will choose a patterned fabric and select colours found within that print and match threads and accessories to those colours.

But what does a designer do? How does the designer who created that fabric print come up with some fresh colour schemes? How can you come up with fresh colour schemes?

Analogous Colour schemeThe interactive learning unit at ILU has designed an excellent colour calculator for designers. This is code, for me saying there is a fun designers toy to play with.

Colour schemeThe Color Calculator is simple to use. You choose a base colour, then select a harmony. Simple! As you ‘play’ with this online tool and ‘playing’ with the complementary, monochromatic colour, analogous, split complements, triadic and tetradic colour schemes you can see how they each work.

Triadic Colour schemeThe slider on the left will shift the key ie the saturation and you can either print or save as pdf via your printer settings.

Tedradic Colour schemeScroll down the page to read about the basics of colour theory. If you have never done any art training these basics will prove very useful if you have a reminder never does any harm and then your ‘play’ with Color Calculator will consolidate what you know.

final colour schemeAs you can see with Spring her in Australia I am in Summerish mood! Now could these be the colours of new website? Mmm … thinks to self candy ice cream colours could be fun …