Saturday, 29 August 2015

Changing the history of colour

Colour is so important isn’t it? As we are always surrounded by it, we often forget about the effect it can have on us, and our work. It can be the difference between something being seen and fading into the background. It can determine whether something is seen as ‘on trend’ or dismissed as ‘dated’. 

As painters, we have to understand a bit about colour to be able to use it successfully in our work.  At Folk It, we are never far from a colour wheel and it is so fun to create our own to work with as we did here. 

Colour wheels are a fantastic resource to help you to see which colours compliment each other, which do not work together and allow you to create the perfect colour scheme for your project.  The first colour wheel was created in the 1600’s and until recently, we thought colour charts such as Pantone’s colour guide was created in the 1960’s.

That is why this latest historical find is creating such a buzz around the world. When we were emailed news of this amazing book, we were in awe. Erik Kwakkel, a book historian, recently discovered ‘Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau’, or 'Treaty of Colors Used to Paint Water'.  

A selection of pages from Boogert's book - he set each page out the same to display a vast range of colours, shades and tones.

It turns out that a Dutch artist, known as A. Boogert painstakingly created over 700 pages containing endless colours and hues. Not only that, but Boogert hand wrote explanations of how each colour could be created and how an artist can change tones by adding different amounts of water.   For painters like ourselves, this book would have been a goldmine of information, a reference like our colour wheels that would never be far from our side.

The book is entirely handwritten by Boogert

Believed to have been created around the early 1690’s, it was certainly before its time. Maybe that is why it was never published, more likely, maybe it was just not possible to reproduce the book accurately.  Now we are living in a world where resources are so readily available it is difficult to imagine a time where such knowledge and information did not exist. The thought of someone spending hours cataloguing valuable information like this for no-one’s use but their own shows a love of colour and a passion for art and painting that certainly has to be admired. 

Each page is beautifully created - it is a work of art in itself. 
Thankfully, thanks to technology today, you can see the book for yourself, page by page, to admire and appreciate this piece of artistic history and understand why it has created such a stir in the creative world. To read more about Kwakkel's discovery, you can visit his Tumblr account here

No comments

Post a Comment

© You Can Folk It!. All rights reserved.
designed by pipdig