These are some of the exercises we did in my 'Mastering Colour' workshop on the weekend at the Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei (NZ). I had 10 people join me for the class - all women (what's with that?) and we all had a great time. I have been researching colour for some time and it was the first time I'd done these exercises too, so we all learned a lot.

Values was a first exercise - we made a 5 value scale and used it to paint a capsicum, then did the same with a 9 value scale. Then we did the same object in red, then a blue object, then a yellow, then tried a mother colour where we mixed a mother colour with all the colours in our still life.

The best thing I learned in the red exercise (well I guess I already 'knew' it but just hadn't consciously used it yet), was avoiding the chalky high values by dropping my light side to a highly saturated mid value AND dropping my darks to accommodate that AND keeping my most saturated colour for the halftones.

I did a wee demonstration painting in the last 30 mins of the workshop to show how to use the mothercolour idea to create atmospheric perspective and then surprised everyone by giving the painting away by flipping a coin and letting them all bet on heads or tails till we got a winner. So that turned out to be a great way to finish the workshop.

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Comment by Richard Robinson on April 10, 2009 at 11:30
Mmm, what do you think the root cause of it is? Eye compensation for light?
Comment by Tom Wharton on April 9, 2009 at 22:52
I've found this value/chroma rule true as well. I tend to want to paint in a high key, and when ever I forget to set the middle tones right, I wind up with chalk.

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