Colorful, Artful Links

Color wheels

Color wheels by Ignaz Schiffermüller (1772) and Goethe (1810)

In honor of the October “Color Sphere” exhibit, today’s links are all about color!

  • Read all about Pigments Through the Ages, including a timeline of familiar pigments through the ages, from the ancient umber to titanium white, invented in 1921. You can see what they’re made of and what famous paintings use them. It also includes historically used pigments like “smalt.” Web Exhibits also has a page about the science of color and art.
  • Check out these cool historical color wheels on Pantone’s blog. (Did you know? Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango, makes up the “art” and pimento in our Art on the Rocks logo.) More on the history of the color wheel at the Colour Lovers blog.
  • Was Vincent Van Gogh colorblind? Some speculated as much after a Japanese scientist studying vision wrote that article last year, showing how some of Van Gogh’s paintings would appear to someone with a specific type of colorblindness. (He also wrote an app that allows anyone to try it for themselves.) It started quite a debate, though as the original author noted, the question of Van Gogh’s eyesight is out of the scope of his research. So, even though he probably wasn’t colorblind, it’s interesting to think about how an artist’s palette can be driven by their personal perception as well as by their artistic vision.
  • While you’re musing about that, test your own color vision with this online hue quiz.
  • If you’re a digital artist, digital photographer, or you’re posting images of your artwork on Facebook or your website, you want to make sure your computer monitor accurately reproduces the colors you want. Here’s an overview of the why and how for color-calibrating your monitor, camera, printer, and scanner for Macs or PCs. John Burgess also covers the basics of color calibration in his free Exhibition Prints lecture in November!

For more Artful Resources, click here.