Monday, September 05, 2011

Painting Purgatory: Color, Emotion, and Technology?

Let's take a few steps to the left today. A friend of mine sent me a link the other day to an amusing little web gadget called The Color Of. Now since you've already sprinted off to the link, tried it out a few times, and then finally come back to my blog (I hope) I'll explain why I wanted to share this. There's lots of information about color theory out there. It explores color in terms of psychology and physics, using sound principles to help artists understand how to use it effectively. This tool however does something almost opposite of that.

The Color Of basically harvests our collective social consciousness from the internet, takes a random sample, and fabricates a "color" swatch for you from whatever word you want. I use the word "color" liberally here since the output is really an image that has many colors in it, but you can think of it as a swatch of colors all mashed up. The process is pretty straightforward and the simplicity of this little widget is remarkable. I wouldn't classify this as a scientific tool by any stretch. Think of it as inspiration rather than a logical process.

So what good is this to miniature painters? Well, think of it as sort of an inspiration engine. Trying to figure out what sort of colors to use when painting your angry troll? Type it in! Guessing at what would give a sense of dignity to a pirate? Enter those keywords! The tool really is pretty limitless in that respect. Now you may get odd results obviously since it is highly random and can pull in images that arguably have nothing to do with what you typed in. However that vast randomness can work to your advantage. Try typing in "cygnar", "lefthanded", "extra large" or even "green" and you'll get something interesting out. You can even click on individual pictures that it found if you want. You can also save the produced image for reference.

Well, that's your daily dose of random color theory for today. But before I go, one last tip. If you produce a swatch and want to examine the colors in it in more detail, you can always throw it into the Kuler tool which I posted about last year. Enjoy!

1 comment:

O said...

ive got strange feeling that you will get random colour, anything you type can give you random results so the combination will be random too. but funny