The Art of Pencil Crayon Painting 3

SUMMARY

Making and Using Colour Charts

I have learned a great technique (sorry I cannot site the person who orginated this idea) for choosing colours reliably.  If you have a reference colour you want to match, making colour charts with your pencil crayons or with paints, will give you a great advantage.

 

Because pencil crayons come in a range of colours and you can have several blues or greens for example, you may want to have a good way to zero in on the best colour match.  Looking at the pencil crayon lead or the paint on the wooden shell will not help.  Sometimes you need to blend layers of colours to get the right colour, but selecting the right shade can be difficult and you do not want to have to make little test mixes all the time.  I find that the best way to get a good colour match is to make colour charts like you will see below.  The first set are on an old shower curtain ring and have both a light and fully saturated colour representation with a hole punched in the saturated area.  If you hold the card over the colour you wish to match and look through the hole punched in the card, you will find that matching colours is easy.  You may be surprised the first few times you do this, as this method works to get rid of colour distractions and does not let your eye/brain see a colour that is not there.

punch card colour finder

Your brain likes to take short cuts and will convince you that a colour you see is more or less what you expect rather than what “is”.  In order to short circuit this short cut, surrounding the area you are examining with the colour patch will isolate it and give you a true reading.  It does take time to make up all those cards but they are worth it. 

I also like to make a full chart of a particular crayon brand.  See the  Blick one below:

This chart is an easy reference when you are comparing colours.  It also makes it easier to order open stock of the colours you use a lot, especially if you happen to have sharpened away the end with the name on it, Oops.  I find it useful to make colour charts with watercolours as well for different reasons.  The one below compares the shade you get with the same “pigment” but with different brands of watercolour paint.  Notice the differences in sap green and terre verte.

So, when you have a day when you just don’t know what to draw, that is awatercolour comparison good day to make charts. 

Blick chart