I have a pretty good idea of color theory, but wanted to get better at using it, with a specific plan for practice, so I bought the books for Color Theory Made Really Easy by Sandra Angelo. I’m not ready to give a final review of it, but I thought I’d share how the practices are going so far. (UPDATE: I’m done and selling it.)
First you read a couple of booklets on color theory which I mostly already knew, but then she lays out a series of color charts for you to make. I was disappointed that she did not include a list of materials, but only an order form for buying the kit from her, with the warning that the system wouldn’t work with the wrong supplies. I emailed to her for a list but haven’t heard back. I’m very unhappy about that, but she may have a good reason such as illness.
She recommends acrylics for learning to mix, but since I don’t know exactly which ones and have no interest in acrylic I decided to buy some gouache, which is opaque watercolor. I verified that Savoir Faire gouache is vegan and of reasonable quality and bought a set of ten tubes. So far I think watercolors would have been fine since I’m used to them, but maybe gouache will be helpful later.
She has you start by mixing the primaries but I decided to skip ahead to start with the easiest, pure values of single colors, and I’ve done three so far, one a day.
I’ve learned quite a bit from this. The left column is gouache (two columns for blue, since the gouache came with both Primary Blue and Ultramarine). You mix the gouache by putting down a puddle of white at the top and then slowly adding color. I then made columns for all my watercolors of that hue, starting at the bottom practically straight out of the tube and adding water with a dropper as I went up. I thought about leaving room for pastels but I think that would just make a mess.
There’s nothing revolutionary about doing this, and yet I took my time and really thought about the colors, warm or cool for instance, and then went around my house trying to match items to the color chart. I think taking time to do this was important. If I’d just done the gouaches I don’t think I would have learned much, but seeing the various hues, the paints I use, laid out was great.
Next to the watercolor names I have put the mixing code. This is a neat idea I got from Peter Saw’s site many years ago. Look around, there are several pages and he does a great job of explaining a practical approach to mixing I’ve been using since my first teacher confused me.