Perfect Primary Colours

April 14th, 2009 by jules

Primaries and Secondaries

Ahh… Painting class. Does this picture bring back ? I remember in one of my first ever painting classes, many, many years ago, the first assignment was to produce the perfect version of the Primary Colours. I remember thinking, “What does that mean?” I still wonder what the perfect version is, but now I chalk it up to a matter of taste.

If I recall correctly, I approached the assignment by taking each colour and adding the tiniest bit of pigment to get as close as I could to a true red, yellow and blue. For red, I added a hint of green, for blue, a hint of orange and for yellow, a touch of purple to tone down the intensity.  Step two was to create the Secondary Colours in their most perfect version.

I remember taking this assignment very seriously and not knowing where to begin, but as a beginner painter, that was probably part of the exercise; to get us, the students, thinking about colour.

Looking back now, I do not pretend that these are the best representations, but maybe I should do this simple exercise again…in my opinion, using the best quality paints one can afford would aid in this exercise immensely. Having the eye to recognize when you have hit the perfect recipe for a colour is a whole other story.

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