Finding Colours

Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with defined form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways -- Oscar Wilde


Colours are powerful! They affect us in different ways, whether we are conscious of it or not. From the food that we eat to the clothes we wear and the spaces we live in, colours are ever present. We all have our favourite colours: seasons are linked to colour and colour affects our moods.


Today’s project is about finding colours in printed media, In the first Flower Collage course there was a project using paper cutouts from magazines and catalogues, cutting out triangular colour paper wedges and making colour circles from them.

Before the first module of this course starts on Monday, I am proposing this project again. For those who didn't do the previous course (or for those that need a reminder) have a look at the video about finding colours in interior magazines. This exercise is also useful to help us focus on colour trends and the new seasons palettes.

I recommend completing this process regularly, at least annually.

There is so much in contemporary magazines to inspire ideas for colour combinations. Look with fresh eyes at the way colours are coordinated and combined. Find different shades and hues of yellows, reds, blues, greens, neutrals and brights.


Cut colour wedges from the printed pages then group them together.. Start with the three primary colours, make combinations of cool colours and compare them to the warmer tones. Find neutral shades, pastels and in between colours.

Stick them down in a sketchbook and make notes about what you observe. What happens when you place contrasting colours next to them, how do they react when combined with neutrals and complimentary colours? If you have done this exercise in the first course, try it again. Maybe create groupings of your favourite colour combinations as an idea. Play with neutrals in combination with brights, retro colours and predicted trends. When sticking down, make sure there is no white margin next to each colour, the colours need to make contact.

This project helps to make us reevaluate the colours we think are familiar. Have a look at the video, and have a go at finding your own combinations. This exercise can be done throughout the course.


The bigger aim of this project is about taking time to be mindful and to reflect how, as artists and creatives, we interact with colour, what makes us choose them and how we use them to create contemporary art and designs.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour