Choosing and Using Colours - Creative Colouring Inspiration from Carolyn Scrace

Learning how to use colour effectively can be daunting for a first-time artist. Luckily, our resident creative genius Carolyn Scrace, author of the Zen Doodling series and many other art books, is on hand to offer some advice:

There are an infinite number of incredible colours schemes to use and choosing your colour palette can at first seem rather daunting. Here are some useful tips and hints to help get you inspired. 

Put simply, all colours are created by mixing different combinations of the three primary colours; red, yellow and blue. Used next to each other, colours such as red and green, orange and blue and yellow and purple create vibrant, clashing colour schemes. Whilst other colours such as green, blue-green and blue, or red, red-purple and purple, produce harmonious, subtle colour schemes.

Excitingly, colours have different temperatures and emotional associations. For example, reds, oranges and yellows are warm colours linking them with fire and earth. They reflect feelings of happiness, energy, passion and enthusiasm. On the other hand, greens, blues and purples are cool colours associated with air and water. They reflect tranquility, calmness and order. 

An easy way to get started is to use a favourite coloured pattern on an item of clothing, a piece of wrapping paper or indeed anything you find inspiring. Use whatever materials you feel comfortable working with from pencil crayons and felt-tip pens to fineliner pens or watercolours. Remember the colours you pick can be pale, muted, vivid, rich, dark, sombre or electric! Most importantly of all, relax and enjoy creating your own uniquely colourful masterpieces.

Carolyn Scrace's new titles Start Art: Create Optical Illusions, Start Art: Simple Pattern-BuildingDraw, Pattern and Paint Your Way To Mindfulness and Draw Your Dreams: Step-By-Step Projects are available now.