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Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.


I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Out of a Color Rut

Sometimes we get into a bit of a rut, using the same palette of colors over and over again. When this happens it's time to shake things up a little by trying out a palette of colors you rarely use. Venturing beyond our comfort zones expands our skills, provides a fresh outlook, and often leads to new creative possibilities.

Last week, feeling a little bored, I challenged myself to try something different. I randomly chose three colors just to see what I could do with them. Being neutrals, they were quite unlike my usual bright and bold palette of saturated reds, yellows, greens and blues.

The three were: alizarin crimson, Payne's grey and Titan Buff. To those three I added the essential Titanium White and Carbon Black to be able to create a full range of values. This little experiment resulted in two small paintings, one 6x6 inches and one 8x8 inches. Here's the 6x6:

©2015 Lynn Edwards
If you've read my last post, you know I'm not a fan of decor that's predominantly grey. But art that's mostly grey, used along with black and white, I do like. Go figure.

In this piece I kept the alizarin crimson rather understated. I used it mostly full strength, but when it's diluted with water or clear medium, it produces a hue I can only describe as a soft, rosy blush. (You can see traces of the blush color in the two lower quadrants of the painting.)

I found the alizarin crimson to be somewhat tricky to use. It went on unevenly so I had to modify it with acrylic medium to get it to behave. But its beautiful color made up for the minor frustration. Age may have been a factor in this. My container of alizarin crimson was several years old and -- until last week -- had never been opened. (Hey, when I said to use a color you ordinarily avoid, I meant it!) 

The 8x8 isn't quite finished yet, but when it is I'll post a photo here on the blog. 

I did learn a thing or two experimenting with this unlikely (for me, anyway) color trio. I found I really liked the warmth of Titan Buff against the cooler Payne's Grey, which is actually dark blue. And I learned that the tiniest drop of the alizarin crimson when added to the white or the buff resulted in a much stronger tint than I expected. So restraint must be used when adding it to other colors.

This exercise has me thinking I'll use this color combo more often in the future. I like the contrasts it presents, and the way the colors work together. These are discoveries I would not have made had I stuck with my usual color choices. This simple exercise has been a fun, yet effective way to escape an all-too-comfortable color rut. I'll definitely use it again!

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Appealing color combos can be found everywhere,

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