Here is Part Two of our art classes aboard ships, doing world circumnavigations. (Part One is below) Secondary colours. Mixing two of the three primaries at a time. Always a free choice for use of the two first colours. Under their eyes, magic took place. Blue with yellow results in green. Red with yellow creates orange. From blue with red, violet is born. This is not a man-made, but universal law. Let us now see how much has been achieved thus far. Maximum results with minimum use of material.
Our students worked with the three primary colours only: Red, Yellow and Blue, in all media: coloured pencil, oil pastel, watercolour and acrylic.
One ladder of eleven steps with one colour, results in eleven colours. Thus, red, yellow and blue (11 x 3) results in 33 colours. By creating the secondary colours, another 33 colours = total 66. Later on, there’ll be 11 more by mixing all three primaries (earth colours), totalling 77 colours.
You can see a pencil box with many, many colours. Yet, even a beginner in our class has already created more than in the store-bought box. A few even managed to get more. Also, there are two “eco’s”: one is economic, the other ecologic. By using only the 3 primaries, students learned to create and discover on their own many more colours. Not just grab them out of a retail box, which numbs imagination and also will sap money later. We had an easel on which I placed a rainbow image, and the Colour Wheel. The exercise now was to create a rainbow, using only the three primary colours and secondary colours. The previous colour exercises already contained the rainbow and the spectrum, without students realizing it. Next exercise was creating a circle with the compass, and paint a Colour Wheel, as shown on the easel with my example.
This took two full classes of 90 minutes each, although some needed three classes, while a few were diligent and did homework in their cabins. Bravo! Next class: Rainbow Fantasy. Anything goes, as long as the primary and secondary colours are used. Next class: Earth colours. By mixing all three primaries, you get beautiful earth colours.
Here's an example of a student's work, creating Earth Colours (mixing 3 primaries together)
Start off with yellow (the lightest). “Ah”s and “Oh”s were heard when they discovered the outcome by mixing the 3 primaries. Next two classes: introduction to Oil Pastels, and exercises as per example. Next class: watercolour introduction. Here begins the daily routine of Natasha of providing fresh water. Brush techniques, use of water, paper. Then make another Colour Wheel. There were three classes on this introduction. Secret of beautiful watercolour painting: always use fresh water. Next: introduction to Acrylic.
Rainbow Fantasy creation from one of our students, using only the three primary colours
Technique, scales, mixing, awareness of drying time, working with water, cleaning brushes (very important, to avoid ‘hockey sticks’, although this more for watercolour brushes). And now we’re on our way, after two months. Diligently following instructions, the passengers were given different themes. For each we taped an example before the class started so the pax. knew what the daily ‘plat du jour’ would be.
This bronze water buffalo with rider was a birthday present for Natasha, our "water buffalo" water carrierNatasha was not only the “water buffalo”, supplier and carrier, but always replaced stained with fresh, clear water. A non-stop job. She also set up and dismantled all the classes. Also her calligraphy text for the easel board was a great help. Three classes were devoted to using any media they’d worked with so far, always using only the three primary colors. Anything goes, as long as they didn’t copy from postcards or other images. Except maybe something in black and white that they could change into colour. Three days before arrival and final disembarkation, we held an exhibition of our students that Natasha and I had selected after asking each passenger to submit 2-3 creations of their own choice. The exhibition was well received. Those passengers who did not participate in the art classes were very impressed, and a kudo from the Captain topped it all off and made us feel proud: “A job very well done”.
Our legendary salty master, Captain Alf Morner, said "A job very well done."
First mission accomplished. A dream come true. We pulled it off! Not only did the students tap into their own imagination, but their eyes were opened to the magic and mystery of colour. And you know what? Upon return, they could actually teach their own grandchildren.