Exploring Colour

Recently I signed up to SkillShare, an online tutorial resources with on-demand creative classes, topics cover everything from anatomical drawings, freelancing business tips to weaving. The service really suited me, it allowed me to learn new skills without leaving the house, allowed me to take regular breaks and return to it. There are so many video tutorials out there on YouTube and Creative Bug, but the sheer scale of the platform, on such varied topics and with the ability to share your progress with your virtual classmates makes Skillshare my go to place to up-skill and feel inspired.

I’m in the exploration stage of my journey, (which is why I started this blog) I’m trying as many different types of creative projects as possible and Skillshare encourages chasing those curiosities to see where you end up. A class caught my eye by Illustrator Claire Picard on  Exploring Colour; Create s Colour Inspiration Sketchbook and Explore Colour Trends. The class helps you collate, document and comment on current colour trends. Honestly, colour is something that has always been intuitive to me, rather than conscious. But I had noticed my sketchbook pages had started to stay black and white.

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As I was wanting to broaden my horizons and my colour palette I started collecting images for a colour journal and suddenly the world seemed technicolour. Curating a colour journal requires you to collect images, from any source, be that interiors magazines, fashion magazine, wallpaper swatches or art work and pick out the key colours.



The act of picking out the key colours encourages you to apply interesting colour combinations to your own work. I would never have put emerald green, fuchsia and orange together, but this spread below shows a distinctively 70’s feel, whilst still feeling organic. The green and pink picked out from the watermelon makes the colour combination feel natural and at ease.

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Unsurprisingly I picked out a lot of purple, as Ultra Violet is the Pantone Colour of the Year. The Pantone Colour of the Year is not simply aesthetic, but has become known as a reflection of current trends. Pantone describe Ultra Violet as ‘Complex and contemplative… suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.’ Personally, it is a colour I would shy away from, perhaps because of it’s oh so sweet connotations with Parma Violets, but here amidst a sage green, cream, ochre and midnight blue, I can understand the intrigue and mystery Pantone refers to.

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Millennial Yellow as it’s commonly known, is a colour I gravitate towards, yellow dresses, yellow jumpers and a yellow mug can all be spotted in our home.  During 2018 it has been everywhere, so much so Stylist even brought out there own entirely yellow issue. Cover to cover the magazine was full of optimism and uplift, which is exactly what is needed, as the headlines make us believe that the world is becoming increasingly bleak.


I really enjoyed picking out key colours from busy and powerful prints, it helped me pull out combinations that can easily be applied to my own work.


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It’s interesting to use travel magazines and pick up colour palettes from across the globe, this spread is so synomous with Marrakesh and North Africa.

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I love spotting colours in naturally occurring objects, for example the colours of Stilton cheese occurs informs the use of colour in the page below and it seemed to be a great place to start.

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In terms of fashion for fabrics, I predict plenty of deep plums, warm neutrals and soft mints. Not a million miles from the Ultra Violet Pantone Colour of 2018, but warmer to keep your bones and heart warm just in case this winter is anything like last years.


I will definetely keep up my colour journal, it is a time consuming process, but it doesn’t require too much concentration, so I collected images skimming through magazines in front of the TV. I’ve been collecting images and sticking them to my pin board above my desk and stock up colour swatches when i’m in DIY or hardware stores. The pages become a great resource and hopefully over time and as the sketchbook begins to grow, trends will emerge from season to season, and year to year.

I’ve got my eyes tuned in on the hunt for colour and what an array of Pantones are around us.

All for now.

Claire & Co.



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