I just got an order from Ann Kullberg's website http://AnnKullberg.com and it's a lovely Color DOTZ System-Color Choice Tool that was designed by Kathee Nelson. The “system” is actually 5 pages of transparent acetate with a host of 1 inch diameter transparent dots. They are arranged in groups of blues, greens, yellows, reds and black gradients. Since I paint/draw or w/c with transparent glazes......I couldn't wait to try this system out.
I got my reference photo of some backlit leaves and traced three of them off onto a small bristol sheet. I wanted to try DOTZ out with colored pencils first. Many colored pencil artists have a bit of grief over choosing background colours. It's especially difficult to make a choice that results in hour(s) of painstaking work, only to step back from your colored pencil picture and decide that the background just isn't what you wanted. Painting over the offending background just isn't an option in colored pencils!
So I began with one of the green/gold/orangy leaves. I drew and colored it in, then began work on a graded background of heavier and lighter black scribbles. I needed the background values in place to see if my leaf looked right. I had to “reserve” a teensy white outline to show the backlit halo. Now onto colour.....
I first tried a bluish DOTZ circle.....nope! Then I tried a bluish purplish circle.....better. (Colour theory sez that an opposite color on the color wheel will get you the best “pop” of two colors side by side.)
I also tried a greenish bluish dot.......nope!
So the blue purplish dot it was. I then had to figure out the colored pencils I needed to blend to get as close of a match as I could. I laid the color DOTZ sheet over my colored pencil drawn test circle to see how close I'd gotten. Do keep in mind that.......DOTZs are pigment on acetate sheets.....which I've photographed then imported into a computer screen (LED lights on a computer screen). If you in turn printed the picture out.....that would be ink pigments printed onto paper. Whew! It's no wonder we artists talk about a “close” and not an “exact” match when talking colors.
And finally I went back to my drawing and worked a dot of the correct color over the black background scribbles......and blended things in. I laid the color DOTZ transparent sheet over my drawing to check and see if I'd gotten the color match correct.
I luv this idea. And I'm already planning how I can use this in watercolors and in acrylic painting. I think I can make up some of my own DOTZs by painting acrylic dots on my own acetate sheets. It would let me know what some of my favorite acrylic colours would look like. It would also give me a quick reference as to which DOTZs closest correspond to my acrylic paint pigments.
I see more charts in my future!