In the process of painting, colour is the most important element to me. It helps create an atmosphere and evokes meaning as strongly as lines and shapes do. Colour can MAKE the painting, or BREAK it. So, I tend to give it a little more attention before I start working it.

Well, the lines have been drawn and it’s time to start painting. So, colour it is. But which? When I’m working on a painting with more than one key feature, I like to do a colour proof. And the way I do that, is by coarsely sketching simplified abstractions of the shapes in the painting with waterproof ink and then start playing with colours. Watercolour pencil’s the ultimate tool for it because it’s not messy and quickly gives a simple layer of colour AND allows mixing in the proof already.

After the proofs are done, I often have an immediate favourite…but I tend to reconsider. So, I cut the proofs up and spread them around the studio or the house and after a little while (can be 10 minutes, can be a week) I know which combination to go for. It’s that little bit of extra work but so worth it!