Thursday, 9 July 2015


Today I received a Facebook message from someone who said this:

"Where did you gain your understanding of colour?  This something I struggle with all the time, and it shows in your work that you really know what you are doing with it".

This was from someone who works with glass, as I do sometimes, rather than from someone who is learning to paint.

It fascinated me to get the question, because it made me realise how much I take my understanding of colour for granted, and how much my training as a painter is helping me in my alternative pursuits.

Here is my latest piece of glass.  At the moment, it is just a fused flat piece.....I am considering whether it will be a bowl in due course, or if it will stay a flat circle and will be displayed on a stand as a work of art, which I feel it is.  It reminds me of Klimt, or anyway I like to feel it does. ( Please ignore the horizontal strips in the blue...that is a reflection of the kiln elements in the lid, while the piece is sitting in the kiln!)

and here are small experimental squares, which may be framed, or may get cut up for jewellery pieces:
Finally, here is piece that was framed and is now sold - ignore, please, the blue screen behind it and the reflections in the glass - a rather poor photo I am afraid, but it is sufficient to make a point about colour which is explained below.
The one thing that all three pieces have in common is that I used a simple technique from the world of colour theory called COLOUR HARMONY - using colours which are alongside each other on the colour wheel.  
This means that each piece has the power of a specific COLOUR TECHNIQUE behind it, to give added design strength.
I regularly go onto "glass forums", and see the work that is produced by people who have no idea at all about colour theory, they just follow their noses and instincts.  Sometimes this is fine, but often the results are rather overpowering at best, psychedelic and rather eye-watering at worst!   I personally feel that an hour or two spent with a good book on colour theory for painters would help them enormously, and I suspect their work would improve dramatically as a result.
However the world is full of all sorts of people, with all sorts of tastes, and hopefully they are all enjoying their work regardless....but if you know little about colour theory, think it is dry and boring and can only be of limited help to you unless you are a painter...I suggest you think again.


  1. Hi Jackie, your latest glass piece is lovely, the blue is gorgeous and I can quite see why it reminds you of Klimt.
    I'm really keen to learn more about colour theory - could you possibly recommend a good book?
    Many thanks,

  2. Can you suggest any good books on color theory?

    1. Jean there is no one particular book I would recommend; I have picked up everything I know by reading lots of information in lots of books. Nita Leland is a good author and has written interesting books including one called Exploring Colour; but actually, I have found that in most art instruction books there is usually a chapter on colour - even in my books! A whole book is a lot to take on all at once, and often small bites, a chapter at a time, is easier to deal with. The main things you need to be sure that the author covers are: COLOUR WHEEL; COLOUR COMPLEMENTS; COLOUR HARMONIES; GRAYS AND NEUTRALS; COLOUR TEMPERATURE, HOW LIGHT AFFECTS COLOURS then there are other things which are of interest...but these are the main elements you need to have under your belt.


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