Colour swatches and poetic words

Green how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches.
Federico García Lorca

Colour swatches belongs in your journal. This months crusade is about colours and naming them. It’s a welcome reminder that the Art Journal is an ongoing experiment, and it should never become a fixed idea or filled with “similar pages”.

The mad colour scientists journal by @ihanna

An Art Journal is a workplace, not an exhibition. Or call it a playground if you will, a place where magic can happen – but only if the rules are not set from the beginning, then it’s just theater…

It is perfectly okay to fill the pages with colour swatches and mix colours like a “mad scientist” on the pretty white pages, just for the fun of mixing colours. And mixing colours is a lot of fun. I mixed the only green I have (and it’s way to dark, like fake grass for me to like) with yellow to make it more spring green. And then with black to made it darker, like moss or grass laying in shadow.

Green green green blue

Our 9 year old neighbor was over and doing her creative thing with fabric when I painted this. I asked her for help with naming the colours and she looked at me, puzzled and said:

– Blue, green, green, green, and green!?

Yeah, well… that’s all you need to know, right? It’s simple, but the prompt is really to name your colours… I tried to find hues I really like, then I used them on the next page. I think it’s a rainbow in green hues:

Green rainbow and pink sky

And now the naming part, the difficult part for me. I love the name we give colours generally, from shimmering emerald and spring-green to dark forest greens and jade. When I really tried to use my imagination I came up with a few suggestions to name my green hues! Like;

My Colour swatches are

  • luminescent green – glows in the dark
  • foliage shade #01 – paint your walls and welcome nature indoors
  • kid’s greenery – it’s like a mix of salad, peas and spinach
  • phosphorescent light – thin as air, use in well ventilated areas
  • jealously blue – now you can have a jar too
  • million dollar baby – the colour of cash, in a can (it’s for sale right now in your local paint shop)

Playing with these English words and I’m reminded of when I looked up variations of the colour red last year, the beginning of the monochromatic series in my art journal. Colour names can be so beautiful, so poetic! Maybe there is a poem in every colour here, waiting to be born in one of my notebooks?

I made another page with the green mixes:
Dot's world full of dots
Painted a girl with pink hair, covered in a snow storm of green swatches… I’m calling her Dot.

The combination of colour and colorful words is a world of its own, a world where I love to linger. Just like colours exists in uncountable hues, words can be combined in a gazillion combinations, and each time you find a combo you like, you’ve created a swatch of happiness.

Dot's world full of dots

For the whole prompt, read crusade 53 and then join us with your mix of colours and words!

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22 Responses to Colour swatches and poetic words

  1. TJ says:

    Hanna, you’re awesome as ever! “Million Dollar Baby” is hysterical… but I also liked your original reference to your green, “Fake Grass!” And I love Dot’s portrait!

    • iHanna says:

      TJ, thanks my friend! So glad I made you laugh, hehe, you post was hilarious too. You do know your way around words… and colours, no doubt, what ever you say yourself about that! ;-)

  2. Hanna – love your cheerleading for a journal as playground! Love seeing your mixes right on the page, then put to use on the other pages. Love your color names and descriptions. Love that you connect mixing colors with mixing words – both poetic. Yay for being mad scientists with the brush and the pen. Thanks for sharing with the team.

    • iHanna says:

      Michelle, thanks right back at ya for inspiring me to mix colours more, and see their true potential, not just grabbing a jar of paint and slabbing it on. Here’s to hues and shades! :-)

  3. Lisa says:

    Dot is so beautiful!
    Words for colours are so interesting – specially in a foreign language.
    In French, the word for redhead is “roux” (for males)/”rousse” (for females). I’m amazed that there is only one word for red hair. In my native English we have graduations of redhead from “strawberry blonde” to “ginger” to “titian” to “auburn”.
    I want to go and make a journal page about redheads………………….

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. You’re right, a sketchbook goes everywhere with us and that is pretty much what I have decided the one for the project will be.

    I love the idea of naming colors myself… nice rainbow!

  5. “.. the Art Journal is an ongoing experiment, and it should never become a fixed idea or filled with “similar pages”. An Art Journal is a workplace, not an exhibition.” i love this! and it’s so full of truth. such a good reminder, thank you!

    your color names are so great – phosphorescent light is magical, and the color is gorgeous, too!

  6. April Cole says:

    What fun!
    Playing with paint, color and words… fantastic :]
    An artist’s playground.

  7. Viki says:

    Wow! Pretty!

  8. iamrushmore says:

    Great post – I too am happy to be reminded that our journals are meant for playing and experimenting! I become afraid to use my journal for anything less than a masterpiece. needless to say it’s pretty empty right now :)
    Think I’ll go smear some paint around!

  9. Lena says:

    Great work! Love your rainbow with all the colours. And of course the million dollar baby must be the greatest name ever for a colour! Love your journals, dear Hanna!

  10. Kim Mailhot says:

    I love Dot and her friend ! And those bright spring greens and pinks – so Hanna-rrific !
    You made me want to play, Miss Hanna !
    Cheers !

  11. Tusia says:

    Wow!!! How wonderful greens! I love that colour! And you made such fantastic artjournal pages! What a feast for my eyes!

  12. Jane says:

    Wonderful pages! You had FUN I can tell, and I especially like the portrait of ‘Dot’.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Helen says:

    Love the way you handled this crusade. After reading your post I finally got inspired to make my pages. Thanks

  14. Cath says:

    Wow! So much vivid goodness – those journal pages rock. Love your young friend’s names for the colours – kid’s really do get down to the essence of things ;-)

  15. Mary says:

    You are so creative…love your cards and your journal pages. Naming shades of green…how about Kermit green? :) Miss Dot is such a cutie…love her pink hair!

  16. Regina says:

    Hi Hanna,
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my post.
    I’ve been dreaming of playing with my paints and making a similar palette to what you have posted here. Now I am even more motivated. Your results are so happy!
    I also found it difficult getting started with the creative naming of colors. Once a theme came to mind, the process became fun. This is what I love about taking part in the GPP challenges. They push me to follow through with an idea that takes me over the difficulties and up to a new level of joy in creating.

  17. Lay Hoon says:

    My dear friend, I always find your post inspiring. Especially love the ‘rainbow’ and also how you name the green hues.

  18. Mona says:

    I love that Lorca poem… Great choice of names – want some of that million dollars :)

  19. Myfanwy says:

    ‘An Art Journal is a workplace, not an exhibition’

    Yes! Absolute truth. And this gives permission to do anything without fear of criticism.

    So why do I still hold back?

    Thanks for visiting my blog, I’ve subscribed to yours.

  20. Pam says:

    Great rainbow of greens. It reminds me of the multi-layered arbor in an English garden.

    Snow doesn’t have to be white. Somerset magazine loves my submission of a magenta winter sky. Isn’t creativity awesome!

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