8 maart 2016


Dear readers,


Today I post a project, that I did for a colour class from Jane Davies (click here for her very interesting blog).


The project was: ‘choose five colours, and make a very simple collage from it (I chose stripes). You can use the colours straight out of the tube, but also tints (colour mixed with white), and shades (the colour mixed with black). I used pure white and black too.

The second thing was that I had to make a greyscale from it (get the picture without the colours).

This were the colours I used (all from the brand Golden):

  • Phtalo Green Yellow Shade
  • Naphtol Red Medium
  • Permanent Violet Dark
  • Diarylide Yellow,
  • Phtalo Blue, Red shade.



It was very much fun to play with them. I really liked the stripe format, and I liked also very much that it was a compository puzzle: which colours likes the others, when is it too boring, when is there not enough contrast, how large should I make the stripes.


Here they are:


Here I see that down there are not enough light colours. And maybe on top not enough dark ones.

I actually very much like the brownish colour that comes from mixing the yellow with the black and white. It goes surprisingly well with the more bright colours. Mixing those two (more bright, and more brownish) gives the whole more depth and makes it more interesting I think.


This is the second one I made. Maybe I make it ‘too easy’ for myself by adding white and black. But I like it so much more when there is a big contrast.


Here I am adding more and more small stripes.  It is interesting to see that below the red and dark blue have more or less the same value. On the grayscale part it is therefore not that interesting. But since the colours are so bright: blue and red, I don’t mind at all in the coloured version.

On the photo the yellow field looks very pale, but in real I like it.



Below I used a lot of darker colours, I see in the grayscale version. And also I did not use so much the brownish/greyish colours. But still I like it.

It is interesting that I tend to use the purple at both ends (up and down). I guess I think it gives it a nice dark ‘border’. And I also think that I do it because I don’t really like the light purple that comes from mixing it with white.


I like very uch the two thin black/white lines in the middle. Again I see on the grayscale that red and blue have more or less the same value, but in the coloured version they are so bright and have so much contrast that it does not matter at all.

Again : I miss the brownish colours a bit.

Another thing: I like to have one or two quite big colourfields. That creates some quiet. But I see that I tend to make things quite busy with all the little coloured stripes. I guess I just like that.

The role of value in the image

I think the role of of value in the strenght of the image is quite big. if there is not so much contrast in value, the painting looks too heavy, or too light. The exception is when the colours are more or less the same in value, but are really contrast-rich in colour (in my cases the red and the blue). Then it does not matter so much, since the colour difference gives the right balance.

Some of the grayscales surprise me. For instance, the yellow and the blue in the second image have the same value, but in the colour-version the yellow looks so much stronger. I guess at that moment the brightness of the colour ‘overrules’ the importance of value.

This is really nice to do, and I learned a lot from it, so I can recommend it to everybody. I am going to repeat it another time with colours that I already like very much, like Quinocridone Nickel Azo Gold and Green Gold and Cobalt Turquoise.

Have a nice day!



  1. Dotty Seiter

    WOW!!! I opened your blog page today and my eyes popped wide!!! My eyes popped both because of the bright stripes and colors, and because part of my brain thought, Am I at the right website?!

    I love all the beach towels you’ve painted for us! I’m ready for a day by the sea!

    These exercises are fascinating.

    I like the use of a grayscale tool for learning more about value and color. I also like seeing what the varied width of the stripes does to change/affect composition.

    SO MUCH always waiting for us to learn, and your exercises here encourage me to keep on playing with the fun of learning. Thank you.

    • Simone Nijboer

      Hi Dotty, thank you!

      At this moment I am actually getting a bit tired of all this ‘learning’ stuff. It is more hard work than fun sometimes… Especially since yesterday I have the third lesson, and now it is about another important topic: ‘saturation’. Again a lot of colour mixing to do. Very interesting, but it is something different then painting freely…
      I guess you sometimes have to learn some grammer instead of just chatting along….

      Not complaining though;-) I forget your expression about it: ‘complaining for the riches’ or something like that?



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