Colour swatches


I made these colour swatches using my current set of W&N oil paints. I’m hoping they’ll be useful for planning colour schemes for paintings. I’ve written the mixture on each swatch, to make it easier to mix again when I want that colour. With my colour vision deficiency, it helps to have a system.

My copy of Josef Albers’ Interaction of Colour is due to arrive tomorrow. I’m excited.


7 thoughts on “Colour swatches

  1. Pingback: Josef Albers’ Interaction of Colour | dailydaub

  2. Liam, I wish I could get into the head of someone colour blind so I could understand WHAT you actually see. I saw your comprehensive report on the various tests you have done and your thinking on that, but it is impossible for me to visualize it from your eyes’ point of view.

    It is not merely an idle wondering I have. Your colouring in the pieces you have posted suggest strong sense and love of colour – which couldn’t cope in my view with your official disability. But who am I to know. Plus this exciting colour wheel of swatches. You must be seeing the fine differences?????

    It will no doubt always elude me. It’s enough that you are so alert to the implications for your work!


    • Don’t forget, the swatches are labelled with what’s gone into them, “blue”, “purple”, etc. so I know what colour they’re likely to be and where they fit into the wheel. Probably if I tried to order them with no labels I would make some mistakes, it would be interesting to try. Very often I find it impossible to know if I’m seeing the colour of something because I’m really seeing it, or because I know what it’s likely to be.

      Probably the best way you can see what I see would be the simulations. On this website I can’t tell the difference between the van Gogh pictures with and without the colour-blindness simulation (apart from the first one with the orange corn field, that’s the only one I can see a difference).


      • the chromatic vision simulator would be great so see. The van Gogh theories are more than useful. I wonder if there are colours you have never seen, or contrasts only, or whether there could be a a simulator which could enhance/upgrade whatever you see to trick your eyes into seeing what I see, colour wise.

        I realise my last sentence is wilfully self-centred. It springs from a lifelong sadness for someone I knew as a child who was colour blind. My sadness was because he couldn’t share exactly the same sensation as me – again self-centred as much as generous.


      • I have attempted to create a colour adjustment filter that would help me to see colours in a relation closer to what most people see. I did this by adjusting the ishihara plates until I could see the numbers. It involves a massive increase of magenta in the reds.


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