A Colorful Question

I discovered the work of Ellen Heck. Her series Colorwheels makes me feel like beginner again. Look at the way she combines structure, color, and abstraction. She pushes the possibilities of limitations. What can we learn from her?

  • Work within a structure.

  • Limit your color palette.

  • Establish a theme, then vary it.

  • Use repetition to pull the viewer’s eye.

  • Create structure, then push the possibilities.

  • Go deep into your idea. Then go deeper.

When you pick colors to work with, ask yourself what possibilities lies among them. Whether you work with paint or collage, how can you mix, veil, intensify?

Welcome. 6x6” acrylic. #33 of my  daily paintings.

Welcome. 6x6” acrylic. #33 of my daily paintings.

Painting inherently involves mixing colors. Collage works with pre-toned materials. Either way, you’ll help yourself if you curate your materials before you start. Choose a palette. Focus. Then explore the range of lights and darks, still areas and texture, your colors can create. Create hard edges with contrast, soft edges with similar values.

These past weeks I’ve been painting daily with a palette of 8 colors: a warm and a cool each of yellow, red, and blue, plus magenta and white. Perhaps it is time to limit myself even further. What would flowers look like, painted in neutrals? How to express luminosity with out pure yellow or pink?