"Is colour too subjective to teach?"



We are all taught the basics of the colour wheel and about complimentary colours etc. but should we be overly influencing art students in their choice of colours? 



Years ago when I first began attending short courses in drawing and painting, I went to one local class that really put me off going to any again. The tutor had us copying step by step a painting that he produced and didn't allow for any deviation. He told us exactly which colours to use and what ratio to mix them. I was incredibly frustrated as I had a full range of newly bought colours that I wanted to try. I also wanted to be shown how to create my own painting, not copy his! Needless to say, I didn't return.



Skip forward a few years and I am now the one doing the teaching. I am happy to explain about basic colour theory, mixing greens, the impact of complimentarys etc. but I never complete a full demonstration painting or say which colours to use. I would hate it if someone told me which colour jumper to buy, it is such a personal choice and I think we should respect someone's choice with the colours they include in their piece of art. I also believe that we all physically see colour slightly differently. The other thing to keep in mind is that our choice of colour can reflect both our personality and our mood.


I'd be interested to know your thoughts, am I right to keep taking a step back or should we all strive to paint colour exactly as it is in reality?


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