Colour therapy

I decided to buy some of the Daniel Smith watercolours that I tested last week and a few days later they were in my letterbox. Along with my purchases came yet another sample palette, this time from David Taylor, an Australian watercolour artist. I sat down the other morning to do another test run of this set of colours – but I’ll spare you the details because I realised that I was just having immense fun mixing colours on the page.

What a revelation that I find myself so tied up in drawing and painting specific subjects that I have managed to forget how good it is just to play with colour!

Manganese Blue Hue and French Ochre

Manganese Blue Hue and French Ochre


The earthy tones of Perylene Green and Transparent Red Oxide


LHS, Cobalt Teal Blue with a flash of Cadmium Red; and RHS, Quinacridone Gold blending with Bloodstone Genuine


I’ve decided to make a book of my colour samples, not only because I can use them as a reference, but also because I’m sure they will bring me great joy simply to look at!

If you would like to indulge in other explorations of colour I can highly recommend I Send You This Cadmium Red… A correspondence between John Berger and John Christie, Actar, (English language edition 1999). This book documents an exchange of colours, ideas and exploration of colour and its meaning and expression between Berger, an art theorist and novelist and Christie, a documentary maker and creator of artist’s books.


  1. I love that book! A friend introduced me to it, and I have tried to buy it but unsuccessfully. Another good colour book is called Colour: Travels through the Paintbox, by Victoria Finlay and explains the origins of pigments. It is fun to doodle with colour isn’t it? Feels like time wasting, but it really isn’t.



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