Colour Codes





I began to look at the colour wheel in a new way and chose two tones of each primary colour that complimented each other: Primary Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Primary Cyan, Naphthalene Carmine and Cadmium Red (names based on the Seawhites of Brighton paints that I used). These became the “core colours” that I would then create more paintings from based on a coded mixing system:





1. Primary Yellow                                                               4. Cadmium Yellow

2. Phthalo Blue                                                                    5. Primary Cyan

3. Naphthalene Carmine                                                  6. Cadmium Red






However, I did not want to just do one mix of each pair as I did not believe that this would adequately represent the two colours. Instead I created two of each so that both colours could be the “main” colour. The mixing code, therefore, looked like this:

1+4 = primary yellow + cadmium yellow | 4+1 = cadmium yellow + primary yellow





2+5 = phthalo blue + primary cyan | 5+2 = primary cyan + phthalo blue






3+6 = naphthalene carmine + cadmium red | 6+3 = cadmium red + napthalene carmine







The keen eyed will notice that the paintings are done on two pieces of paper, this is so that the paintings can be separated into A’s and B’s and then mixed again to create even more varied colour combinations:

A2 x 6 Mix


The result is a set of paintings that respond to one another to create a visual language. The way that the colours interact with one another creates a different visual stimulant, therefore altering the audience’s perception of the colours shown. Ultimately it will not be the method of creation that is important, but the interpretation of the audience as they experience colour and form in the structurally and aesthetic way that I present it.  Everyone sees and experiences colour differently, but colour also has the ability to provoke emotional responses, artworks that are large and yellow, for example, imitate the sun and so make us feel warm and happy (Tate – The Weather Project). The following blog post is also useful in understanding some of my theory based motivations: Kandinsky’s “The Spirituality of Art”.


What is exciting about this project is that due to the infinite nature of colour I can continue to create these pieces practically into eternity. At this point in the work I am focused on the first few combinations. After this, I can then begin to play with how each of the primary cores interacts with their primary counterparts.



Published by

Jessy Plant

A Brighton born artist, now studying a Fine Art Degree at Cardiff Met Uni.

2 thoughts on “Colour Codes”

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