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Hone your warm/cool skills

color Jun 12, 2020

While I finish editing the upcoming Create Your Own Flexagon class on Skillshare, here is an easy way to hone your skills at discerning warms and cools of various colors.  the following example is one that explores the warm and cool variations of greens.  this can be done with any color.  I suggest starting with either a primary color or a secondary color.  More advanced variations of this experiment help to hone discernment of neutrals as well as color combinations and color schemes.  

All you need is your smart phone!

Green is an easy color to begin with now that spring is coming to an end and summer is just around the corner.  This is a great excuse to take a break and go for a nice walk.  Whether you live in a city or in a rural area, I'm sure you can find trees and plants nearby.  

What is a cool green?  A cool green is a green that leans more toward blue than it does toward yellow.

What is a warm green?  A warm green is a green that leans more toward yellow than it does toward blue.

Snap a multitude of photos, focusing on variations of greens.  Don't overthink this.  Just snap away.  Try to include only greens in your photos.  Once you've warmed up to looking for variations in greens, begin to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I seeing mostly cool greens or warm greens? 

2. How close to blue is that cool green?

3. How close to yellow is that warm green?

4. Hmmmm.  What is the effect when a warm green is next to a cool green?

5.  Can the same green be both warmer and cooler than the greens that are next to it?

6. What greens are dominant ... warm greens or cool greens?

It's not necessary to come up with answers for all of the questions.  Keep moving on and snapping more photos.  It doesn't really matter if you ever look at the photos again.  Just asking yourself questions as you take the photos helps to train your eyes and your brain to make decisions about color temperature and to make careful observations.

Have a good time with this.  Don't worry about deviating from my guidelines.  I always encourage you to customize my suggestions to suit your personal needs and quirks.


Curious about the upcoming Flexagon class on Skillshare?  Here's a link to a preview of what I'm presenting: Link to video 


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