Playing with colour and finding new marks

Playing with colour using oil pastels
Playing with colour using oil pastels

One of my favourite activities is playing with colour and finding new marks to help convey what I am trying to say in my paintings.

Picking Colours

Keeping it simple I try to pick just 2 key colours, often complementary but also an analogous pair. Variations of orange and blue or purple and yellow are some of my go to colour choices. Firstly mix a number of combinations of these with white and with each other to create a lovely range of colours which work well together. Then I just play with these colours and make marks.

Mixing colours
Mixing colours that go together well
Monoprint
monoprint created with mixed inks
Monoprinting using intaglio inks and playing with colour choices

This process creates a mood or texture of the colours I like. Layering them to create muted and de-saturated areas. These often turn out beautifully just on their own or can be a starting pint for further development.

Monoprint created with orange and greens using ink rollers
Monoprint created with orange and greens using ink rollers

Playing freely I can produce a lot of prints with great variety of marks and tonal values. This allows you to be less precious with each piece and often creates something new you weren’t expecting.

Working into my monoprints and finding new marks

Once dried, torn pieces or neatly cut out areas are used in collages. They can be drawn into with different types of media which produce different types of marks.

Soft pastel can be rubbed with your fingers to create a coloured haze over an area to make it softer or push it back.

Oil pastels produce an intense coloured mark, dense but with texture. I often  scratch and scrape oil pastel marks to make even more texture.

Graphite is a wonderful mark maker. I like to play with a variety of graphite pencils and sticks, thick and thin, soft and hard to create different marks.

Acrylic inks will create intense coloured areas and I enjoy using them with sponges, brushes or pens, or just splashed or dripped.

Acrylic paint pens, which are available in millions of colours and thicknesses. My work often features fine expressive lines and I use post pen for this. You can also create bold opaque marks of colour with the lush fat marker pens.

The possibilities are endless…

Monoprint enhanced with oil and soft pastels and graphite marks
Monoprint enhanced with oil and soft pastels and graphite marks

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