Color Crazy

A friend was showing me a collection of garments from her husband?s Macedonian parents and grandparents. There were purses, shawls, aprons, and fabrics. They were hand-dyed, hand-stitched and handwoven.

And the colors … wow! Brilliant oranges, rich alizarin crimsons, saturated deep blues, viridian greens, as well as metallic threads. Vibrant, brilliant, intense colors used in a foreign-looking pattern. What a crazy jigsaw pattern of design and intensity.

Directed Doodling: I love to do this whenever I have my colored pencils nearby. I find it extremely relaxing with the repetition of the patterns, and the surprising juxtaposition of the colors is an exciting denouement.

A Colorful Exercise
Using your favorite art medium (I recommend colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic, crayon or collage) create an atypical design with vibrant color. Stretch yourself. If you usually use triangles in your doodles, as I do, work in cloverleafs, circles, lines and squiggles; if you usually use a basic primary color palette for bright colors, switch to the complements of the primaries. I use every color I can get my hands on! You get the idea. The keys are to:

  • Use intense, brilliant color.
  • Create an intricate new-for-you repeating pattern.
  • Change to a different vibrant color whenever the spirit moves you. Be asymmetrical and random.

Frank Webb is an internationally recognized painter, author and teacher. He conducts workshops all over the United States and around the world.

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