Color Exploration - Instinctive Exercises to Master Color and Create Stunning Palettes! | Jordan Hill | Skillshare

Color Exploration - Instinctive Exercises to Master Color and Create Stunning Palettes!

Jordan Hill, Illustrator and Storyteller.

Color Exploration - Instinctive Exercises to Master Color and Create Stunning Palettes!

Jordan Hill, Illustrator and Storyteller.

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11 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Warm Colors and Cool Colors

    • 3. Try Something Monochrome

    • 4. Making Color Collages

    • 5. Inspired by Color Collages

    • 6. Paint Chips

    • 7. Color Palettes From Paint Chips

    • 8. Inspired by Paint Chip Palettes

    • 9. Analyze Other People's Art

    • 10. Inspired by Art

    • 11. Outro

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About This Class

Color theory can be a tough safe to crack. 

Through a combination of instructional videos and hands-on exercises, this course will attempt to break down the beast that is color into a series of hands-on exercises that will help you to master color and create stunning palettes!

This course uses methods that I have developed through years of experimentation that should allow you (or at least help you) to use color more instinctively and freely. By the end of this course, you will have a general understanding of how to use color more abstractly and with less talk of technicalities and will be able to choose colors and create palettes that portray the mood you are trying to create.

Music: - Feelin' Good by martynharvey

Meet Your Teacher

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Jordan Hill

Illustrator and Storyteller.


Hi, thanks for visiting! I'm Jordan, and I've been an artist and storyteller all my life.

I've always been intrigued by the arts and the sciences alike, and this curiosity has an impact on the way that I approach my artwork and life in general. The most important thing to me has always and will always be the emotion people get from experiencing my work. I want people to feel something, and I hope that I can help encourage you as well. 

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1. Introduction: color is very important. In addition to our color palettes deciding whether or not a piece of art works, it can also dictate the feeling or general emotion of peace. If you've ever tried to dive into color theory, you may have found that it can be kind of dry inborn. It can be very theory heavy, and though there's nothing wrong with understanding these concepts, I've never learned that way. In this class, you will learn how to harness color and a very hands on experimental kind of way. In this course, I will lead you through a series of exercises that will ultimately allow you to learn more about color and see what works for yourself. I hope that with this course, you will learn how to think about color in a more abstract instead of actually having to think about what colors work together. I hope that it will help you to work more instinctively and just know this will hopefully allow you to create more freely and make decisions about color with more confidence, I will be using watercolors in this course to add color to my illustrations and acrylic craft pants to create the pallets to actually work off. However, you can use anything you have on hand that adds color, even if that's something as simple as Crayola Qurans. I will also be using a small sketchbook that I made exclusively for this course. But you can use any kind of paper or sketchbook that you have, so without dragging this out any further, let's get started. 2. Warm Colors and Cool Colors: So one of the very first things you're going to want to really understand about color is the concept of warm colors vs cool colors and how that can really drastically change the appearance and feeling of your piece. The colors that you choose are really very important, and this is a good way to kind of get a grasp for that without stressing about actual pallets too much to illustrate the concept of warm colors vs cool colors, I created two very similar portrait's on opposing sides of a sketchbook spread, and what I'm going to be doing is painting one of thes portrait's with warm colors, colors like reds, yellows and oranges, and the other with cool colors, things like greens, purples and blues. And as a result of this, what you will see begin to happen is that those pieces, though very similar in their actual line work, give off very different VIPs. The warm colors give the portrait a look that's more reminiscent of fighter. It also feels a bit more natural because the way that the actual human face is tends to be very warm. However, the cool tones give a sensation. That's kind of similar to something water related, something like a mermaid or some other type of otherworldly creature. I decided to emphasize this in my own sketchbook spread, with some white gel pen added to the background just to show off those types of themes. I gave the warm color palette, some little flickers that kind of look like they could be flames. And I gave the cool toned portrait some long, seaweed esque plants. I hope this shows you the power and importance of choosing colors for your artwork, and that also kind of emphasises the idea of making your subject matter work with your colors instead of against them. If you want to try this out for yourself, you can do as I did and under simply free hand to draw the two similar portrait it's or you can draw one illustration and then photocopy it. Since this is just for practice and getting a general idea of how color works, as opposed to how drawing works that will work for this exercise, 3. Try Something Monochrome: Sometimes we get so focused on creating fancy, complex color palettes that we forget that sometimes the very basic things can be exactly what we need. A monochrome color palette, maybe one of these things for you. If anyone here is unaware of the meaning of monochrome, it's simply a pallet creating from varying tints and shades of the same color. You can match a light blue, a medium blue and a dark blue, and it's an almost full proof method of making a color palette that works. This is kind of similar to warm vs cool colors. In the idea that the mood will be similar, However, it's really even taking it a step further. This could be done with any color that you like, and it's kind of cool because for the most part, all you really need is one middle tone paint color, plus a white and a black. Just the kind of careful with this, because although that is mostly true, mixing black with something like yellow will not make a darker yellow. It will make a very gross looking color. A kind of color related kind of non talent related tip for this is that if you're looking to create a mustard color, mixing brown with yellow instead of black will work much better. 4. Making Color Collages: now where are last exercise was kind of structured and straightforward. This one is going to be a little bit more free form and experimental. I honestly believe from personal experience that this is one of the best ways to learn to conquer color. So I hope you guys have fun with it and don't stress out too much. Now we're going to be creating some little abstract pieces, some little color collages on one of our sketch book pages. Our purpose for this is just going to be to figure out what colors look good together. Working these abstract pieces in a collage form rather than a painting or drawing form is very helpful, primarily because you don't really have to worry so much about ruining a piece that you feel very strongly about. You can arrange your collage pieces as many times as you would like. You can switch things out. You can move things around, and there's no commitment until glue comes out. However, when approaching a collage for the first time, it can sometimes be a little bit intimidating. What I would really recommend is finding one clipping from a magazine photograph, scrap of paper, etcetera, etcetera and base your entire collage around it. If you already like this piece, there's probably a reason for that. If your eyes drawn to something, it's because you like it. So most likely, the colors contained within it are already going to be a nice looking color scheme. Go with your gut and just choose something that calls to you. And then you can go and collect some other little bits and pieces that have the same or very similar colors based on your inspiration piece. Then you can simply arrange them on your sketchbook page in a way that looks nice to you again. Don't sweat if it doesn't look perfect and adhere them down. I then like toe, look at the main colors in the collage, the things that are repeated over and over match my acrylic paints to them and then create a pallet toe Work off. You already know that the colors look good together, so be confident in that expand on it. And one last thing I will, sometimes due to my own collages is at acrylic paint or even ink drawings to them. Just add more interest, but this step is completely optional. 5. Inspired by Color Collages: when making my collages. I like to make them on one page of a sketchbook spread, so I have one other page adjacent to it, on which I can continue toe work and expand on the color palette. This allows us to dig deeper into this kind of hands on color knowledge idea that we're working with. Creating and coloring an illustration or sketch based on a color palette that you've already put together can give you confidence to make color decisions in the future. Personally, I also find it really fun to try to figure out how to use the color palette. It really works like a prompt, and it's a good way Teoh keep you from running out of ideas. I will continue to use this technique in future videos and the Siri's kind of creating pieces based off of pallets that I came up with through other means. So give it a shot and again, above all, have fun with it. 6. Paint Chips: now, the next exercise we're going to go over is a way of coming up with color palettes and yet another hands on type of way. There are a few steps to this, but it is a method that I really enjoy, and I hope you do as well. The first step is going to pick some colors of paint that you really love and could see yourself using in your artwork. They don't have to go together at all. I personally try not to leave out any colors I like toe have a few from each color of the rainbow, and the main way you should be thinking about this is that just because you don't like one color, for example, the color ones, it doesn't mean that you won't like it in the sun combinations. So pick some shades and tints of these colors that appeal to you. The next step is going to be to cut down some card stock in order to essentially make some little piece chips. Mine were one inch by two inch, but you could news whatever size you're comfortable with. However, this is a great way to use up little scraps. You may have lying around, and then we're going to use the colors of paint that you've already picked out, and we're going to paint each card with a different color, depending on the paint. You may need more than one layer for full coverage, but I do recommend trying to get as solid of allay as possible, and once all of this is complete, we can move on to the next exercise. 7. Color Palettes From Paint Chips: This is the exercise where we're going to use the paint chips that we created in the last exercise to come up with even more color Palin's. The idea of this is kind of similar to the color collage. Because your chips are on separate pieces of card stop, you can shift them around and see what looks good next to each other without having Teoh risk anything. There's nothing to lose, and so you're free to be as reckless with your color making decisions as you would like. After enough shifting around, you should find a color combination that you like, And what we're going to do is we're going to use the same colors of paint that you used to paint those chips, since we already know that you have the paint and you're going to create a pallet page in your color sketchbook. I actually took my color palette page a step further, and I tried to make sure that the pallets worked both horizontally and vertically. This is Han Extra Step and completely unnecessary, but personally, I just like to the challenge, and I liked the idea that I was getting more from the space and as an additional added step , I actually used a piece of tracing paper just to define which colors were included in the pallets and which were not. 8. Inspired by Paint Chip Palettes: as with the color collages that we have already created pieces based on. We can use the pallets that we put together in the last video to inspire even more drawings . Personally, I like to recreate the pallet on the page that I'm working on just for future reference. 9. Analyze Other People's Art: Now. This video, much like the color collage exercise, shows a way of coming up with pallets based on things that other people have already done. This is a very, very good way to learn, and it will help you build confidence for your own color palettes in the future. The first step for this exercise is to find a painting or illustration that you really like . This could be a famous artist, someone you follow on Instagram. It could even be a drawing that a friend of yours did. It really doesn't matter what it is, so long as it's an illustration that you like. Now what we're going to do is we're going to print out a tiny copy of that piece of artwork and glue it directly into our color sketchbook. You could make an entire color collage based on this piece, though that is a completely optional step and up to you now. What you're going to want to do is really look at that piece of artwork and pull out the colors that person used. Match them as best as you can. It doesn't have to be perfect. And Pete, a palette next to or around it. In case you're wondering, the piece that I chose was a Picasso, and the interesting thing, at least to me about this exercise, is that it can force you into directions that you don't typically go. I chose this piece because I really like the look of it, but I don't tend towards born colors very often in my own work. However, because I liked this piece, I was able to form a color palette and find a direction to go. That was very nontraditional for me, and this could be very helpful when it comes to pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. 10. Inspired by Art: Since I've already done this twice, this exercise is probably expected and self explanatory. We are simply going to use the palette that we created based on someone else's artwork, and we're going to use it to inspire in our piece of our own. This hands on experimental technique is a good way of in graining what works into your brain, even if you aren't completely, ah, 100% on why yet. 11. Outro: So I hope that you learned something about color through this course and that I showed you that working with color isn't nearly as scary as it can sometimes seen. There are obviously a lot more technical rules when it comes to working with color. But I've always found that these loose, playful approaches are a much better way toe learn. It allows you to work creatively and instinctively, as opposed Teoh through technicalities, which can sometimes lead to things appearing more stiff or plan, then you may want them to. I hope that you will continue to play with color in this way that you'll Philip your sketchbook and start another, and eventually with enough experimentation, you will gain more confidence. As faras, the project for this course is concerned. It is simple to complete the exercises. If you would like to share them, you can leave them in the project section, and I would love to hear from you, so thank you all so much for watching and until next time