Saturday 7 June 2014

[Tips] Making Radial Colour Charts

An idea hit me 2 days ago when I saw a pile of my leftover watercolour papers. What if I can turn them into a radial colour chart? After a little research on how to make a stack of papers rotatable, I made some for my self and I think it is a fun activity to share with my fellow botanical artists. The colour charts are really useful for our painting reference and, as we all know, we need to manage a load of colour charts, which keep growing over the time.
Tools: Cutter, ruler, hole punch plier, split brassed paper fastener.

Step by step:
1. I cut my favorite watercolour papers, Fabriano Artistico 140lb, into 2x6 cm pieces using a cutter and a ruler. I chose the form of small tags to make the best use of the leftovers :p

2. I made clean, 2.5 mm-sized holes with a punch plier (usually for leather belt) on the deckle-edged side of the paper.

3. I applied the paint on the other edge of the paper (to the very edge!) and write the colours' name soon, for fear of being buried in a pile of unnamed colour tags.

4. I arranged the colours by tone and fastened them with the split pin/brassed paper fastener. Since a cover would be a nice touch, I painted the cover with many colours to represent the content of the chart.

I have never made a colour chart before. Instead, I used to mixing and testing colours on an unused paper when I painted and throwing it after the painting was done. I also couldn't really use the common, tile-system colour chart because I couldn't make a side-by-side comparison between each of the colours and the object I painted. To me, the physical juxtaposition was important in finding the right colour. Yet, the tile-system colour charts did not help much in singling out the right colour. Then, I remembered the Pantone's colours chart and I thought that a radial watercolour chart was what I wanted all along.

Now, I really enjoy my radial watercolour chart! I can compare the colours side by side just by rotating them or put it side by side to the object of painting. I can add new colours or rearrange the stack easily because the split pin can unlock and lock without a sweat. I can also write additional note on the rear side. I can release the picked colour from the stack if I needed to. Well, am I easy to be satisfied or what? :p

*I made the blue, purple, yellow, and green colour chart as well and I will enjoy making the earth colour chart as well as any other colour in the future.