I recently did a color consult for a client. The goal was simple: add a bright splash of the same color of yellow throughout the ground floor. The challenge was to more precisely distinguish which variation of yellow.
The first thing to do is add language to describe variations of yellow. A trip to one of my favorite places on earth, Dick Blick’s art stores, to photograph different yellows gave us descriptors: Hansa Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light and Bismuth Yellow to start.
The next step is to chose some of the color options that appeal and paint them on a clear white piece of heavy paper.
The Benzimidazolone Yellow Medium was too warm and the Hansa Yellow Light was too cool. On the right you see Color Aid swatches that provide another precise way of defining and evaluating color. In each case, the pigment number is included.
Put it in Context
If you’ve studied Josef Albers you know that how color appears is very dependent on its surroundings. The next step is to paint the leading contender on a larger piece of paper and look at it alone in the space where the color will live.
Once you have done these three steps, you’ll have a really good idea of what specific color to conduct your first experiment with.