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Understanding issues of color is one thing. Actually seeing it is quite another. What if you can't distinguish the difference between two colors that are different. Known as colorblindness, about 8 to 12% of the population mostly males, have difficulty discerning between certain colors. There are plenty of books and tests to determine if you have colorblindness. Can you see the number 74 in this image? If not, you could be colorblind. The most common form of colorblindness is red and green.
And it is especially difficult particularly when the values of each color are very close, as it's the hue of the specific color that can't be distinguished. The color red appears green and green appears red, making choices for palettes a real challenge. How can a colorblind person create a palette and use it effectively if he or she can't actually see the differences between colors. Having had a very dear artist friend struggle with this, I tried to figure out how you can create a palette based on what you know.
Rather than what you see. If you take the time to know what colors are doing and document them forreuse, its possible. The first thing to do is make a list of the colors that you have. Write the names down, then ask someone who isn't colorblind to describe the color. Wart's properties, as in value, vibrancy and temperature in actual percentages. Be sure to document the name of the color, specifying the hue. Identify the feel of the color.
If the description is not what you see, make sure that's noted. This can be your color definition. Using the chart and referring to definitions of the properties of the colors used, should help you predict mixes. My friend decided to use only a bunt sienna, raw sienna or burnt sienna and ochre ground for each color image. because it was a warm tone and it fit the kind of imagery he was making. This is limiting, but allowed him to more easily remember what the colors were doing based upon his notes and charts even though he couldn't actually see it.
It was very useful to know when he was making a purple instead of a green especially when painting skin tones. Another methods is to use a palette generator like the one in the link below. It pulls colors and translates them from a preexisting image. If the subject makes sense for the feel and content of the project, then borrowing it is a useful tool as well. Much of what you've learned and will learn becomes intuitive the more that you exercise knowledge through doing and making.
Using your mind to solve issues that the eyes can't is like strengthening one muscle to compensate for another. And what's really interesting is that color blind people tend to have a greater capacity to see vibrancy, value and temperature. Relying on the other aspects of color rather than hue to see differences. Being color blind means that you can make incredibly beautiful palettes and images and learn to have control if you let your mind be your guide.
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