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Colour experimentation

I selected the colours for the illustrations based on Anna’s feedback. She asked for the illustrations to be bright with a dark or even black background to create contrast. As I was aiming to tell a story individually of each member, I wanted the vivid colours to represent the youth, or more specifically their energy and excitement.

When I was experimenting with my choice of colours and the background I used the colour wheel as reference. I figured if I wasn't creating contrast with the colour black, then I could achieve it using contrasting colours instead. The colour wheel acts as a helpful reference when choosing which colours go well with each other. Claude Monet wrote in 1888, ‘color makes its impact from contrasts rather than from its inherent qualities... the primary colors seem more brilliant when they are in contrast with their complementary colours.” [Philip Ball, Histoire vivante des couleurs, p. 260.]

Using colours that lie opposite each other on the colour wheel has become an important combination within design. When these colours are placed next to each other they tend to compliment each other by making both colours seem much brighter.

Even though I used complimentary colours I wasn't satisfied with the outcome of the illustration, which reminded me of a quote from the book “Interaction of colour - by Josef Albers” in which he discusses that no matter how much knowledge one may have about colour or the theory of colours, this doesn't necessarily lead to the production of something successful. Alternatively, one has to practice to be able to achieve the best result. “It [the book] reverses this order and places practice before theory, which, after all, is the conclusion of practice.”

Once I decided to use different tones of the same colour as part of my background, I then used the website ‘coloors’ as a form of direction. This website provides you with being able to select a colour of your choice, and it then helps you generate colour schemes and palettes that work well together. I didn't necessarily stick to the exact colours, but it proved useful in terms of guidelines. After having an idea of which tones of colour I could use for the background, I turned each shade into a bright organic shape, contrasting with the black background.


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