"Confident Color" exercises help

Mixed media, acrylic on paper
I've been doing some color reference cards as suggested in Nita Leland's book "Confident Color." It's strangely satisfying. Normally I fly by the seat of my pants when painting and grab a tube here and a bottle there to mix things up and hopefully come up with something I like. Her process requires some thought and (dare I say it) rationality--something that's been lacking in my technique. It's even giving me some ideas about my whole approach to painting. In art school, we were never taught color theory in a disciplined way, believe it or not. Perhaps it was a symptom of the time but the guidance involved was "just do what feels right." Maybe that's why I'm having so much difficulty figuring out exactly what I'm doing. Right now, in the grand scheme of things, nothing feels right. I have so many ideas when I'm falling asleep or waking up, but they're gone by the time I sit down in front of the computer for my drawn out escapism into the blogs. One good thing about doing the color reference cards is that I have paint left over that I feel compelled to dab onto my myriad unfinished works. I'm way too frugal to let that expensive stuff dry out on my plate. Here's another abstract mixed media piece from my sketch book. Maybe I'll play with it in Photoshop to see if I can do something more to it.


marianne said...

i have such a hard time following directions for exercises like that, even though i know they have value. it's good to hear you excited about it and learning! thanks for sharing.

Gayle said...

I usually have problems with doing these exercises too. It's become an eye-opening experience, though, and I'm finding some unusual colors and color harmonies by simplifying to three colors for each color wheel. Who knew--simple is better.