Being colour-blind and being able to paint do not mix! Or, so I thought for the first 50 years of my life. But, did you know there is a question mark as to whether one of the most famous artists of time may have been, in fact, colour-blind. You can read more on this at the Smithsonian website in the article, "Was Vincent van Gogh colorblind? It sure looks it."
My own initial negative experience for art and being colour-blind date back to my school years and two particular events stick in my mind.
Whilst aged eight, at junior school, the teacher congratulated me on drawing a fantastic picture of a duck-billed platypus but wanted to know why I had coloured it in with green pencil. The answer was quite simple, being colour-blind I saw no or little difference between the grey in the picture and the colour green on the pencil. It was, I thought, the closest colour. The answer I gave to the teacher was to simply state that I was colour-blind. Her answer shocked me. "No your not!" she said. "But I am!" I said frustrated. "Okay then, what colour is this?" she asked picking up a coloured pencil. "Red," I replied. "And this?" "Blue"... and so it continued through the whole set of pencils with me stating correctly each colour. "Your not colour-blind!" she stated and walked off leaving me feeling very belittled.
Occasion two was similar when I was 12 at senior school. "Great picture," said the Geography teacher, "But why have your coloured the sea purple?"
And, from then on I avoided anything to do with colour whenever I could. I could not and still cannot explain what it is like to be colour-blind. There are plenty of websites out there that explain why people are colour-blind. The Colour-blind awareness website does a good job of describing colour-blindness and states:
The most common form of colour blindness is known as red/green colour blindness and most colour blind people suffer from this. Although known as red/green colour blindness this does not mean sufferers mix up red and green, it means they mix up all colours which have some red or green as part of the whole colour. For example, a red/green colour blind person will confuse a blue and a purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the colour purple. See the example of pink, purple and blue pen cases below to understand this effect.This is actually new to me and found out only from a quick search for this blog. I am one of the many red/green colour-blind group and that is the first time I have seen an explanation as to why I have problems with so many other colours!
Moving on, years later, I had some time on my hands and wanted a new hobby to move forward with me in my life, so I bought a book on drawing cartoons (Drawing Cartoons - Colin Shelbourn). What a fantastic book, and I got right into it. Wanting to go further, I decided to sign up for a college course to learn more about drawing, but it was with trepidation that I realised part of it was to also paint!!! I have to be honest though, and say I have not looked back since. Having made the tutors aware of my colour-blindness they were fantastic and helped me initially into painting. That was nearly a year ago now and my hobby continues. I in no way profess to be any good, but at the end of the day it's a hobby and gives back as much as I put in. It gives me pleasure in seeing the end results and allows me a stress free form of relaxation. A great bit of escapism.
So, on with the blog and you'll occasionally see me posting some of my attempts / interpretation of art along with the occasional post (as much as a reminder to myself) of what techniques I learn and from where, along with anything else that fits the bill.
I hope you find my blog of some use.