Welcome 2013 – Organising Colour

I was doing a bit of colour admin for the start of the New Year and I thought I would share a couple of my current favourite organisation tips in a hope that you might share some of your favourites and also to start the New Year as we mean to go on. It must be that New Year feeling where all is fresh and you are inspired to get things sorted once and for all? Do you know what I mean?

So the colour admin I was doing was to decorate the cover of my new colour reference book:

When ever I get some new colouring materials I put little scribbles of them in an A5 notebook, it is one of the Seawhite starter sketchbooks and you can usually pick them up cheaply in art shops. I’ve even seen them online and if I remember where I will add a link at the bottom of this post. I get mine from Cass Art in case you happen to be in London.

It is a fun little exercise that only takes a couple of minutes and can be done in front of the telly or at your work desk to help ease you into work if you are feeling a little mojo-lacking. 

It is also great for starting to work out how the colours work, feel, look and play together.

I also like to write the names of the colours down and I’m finding that this exercise is helping me to recognise and spot colours in a different way which helps when I’m working, or even just out and about spotting new colour combos I want to play with. So a good habit to get into for 2013 if you don’t do it already!

My next tip is a similar sort of thing and another way I organise my colour, this time I mainly use it for my sprays and inkpads/ reinkers. 

I use little strips of cards around 4cm by 2cm and punch a hole in the top for some binding rings. I then spray or add droplets or swipe the colour onto the strip and write the brand and name on the back. 

Each ring is a different type or brand of colour and they hang from my workdesk lamp for quick reference.

I find that the rings and colour books are easy to grab and a great way to find what you need or inspire some work when you are feeling a bit lost.

Do you do this? How do you organise your colour? I would love to know. 

Happy 2013 to you and wishing you lots of creativity for the year ahead!


[EDIT: Artist Trading Post has some of the A5 notebooks and the A4 notebooks too.]

Kim Dellow

Kim Dellow is an artist–designer–film-maker living the creative life in London, UK. She's a freelance creative for the craft industry and others, and she loves to share her art-ventures on her blog.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Netrix

    Great idea. I do the 2nd one but love the little notebook one too. Thanks for sharing

  2. Brenda Brown

    Very neat, you are sooooooooooo organised and great ideas.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  3. Sandi

    Kim, fab share, how much fun to be surrounded with all your favorite colors, hugs

  4. Shoshi

    Love this, Kim! What a great post. I must start doing this with some of my paints and other colouring media. I've done a little swatch of black card pieces with Perfect Pearls brushed onto Versamark which is very useful. I haven't got any of those rings yet so it's just tied with some yarn at the moment.

    When I was dyeing yarn (want to start doing that again after many years!) I made up a board of tiny skeins, each labelled with the proportions of the different coloured dyes. Nice rainbow display!

    Not only are these swatches and books useful, but they are also very decorative, and are works of art in their own right.

    Happy New Year to you, and may we all be organised and creative!


  5. Ria Gall

    Hi Kim
    Gosh you have got me thinking now. I had never really given colours much thought, well not the amount of thought you have.
    I love colour and am brave when I start throwing colours together. I think to have some sort of colour reference is a fantastic idea,

  6. butterfly

    Great idea to get those colour swatches and inspirations all in one place – so beautiful at the same time as incredibly practical!
    Alison x

  7. Annie

    Happy New Year to you Kim. This is a great idea and something that I should definitely use this year as I need to be more organised. THanks for popping by earlier and being my first visitor in 2013

    Best Wishes

    Annie x

  8. Shoshi

    Thanks for your visit, Kim, and your lovely comment. Glad you like my pattern. I've been working on some more tonight, which will be uploaded once I get them scanned. Enjoyed another feast for the eyes, looking again at your wonderfully colourful post! I simply must do something like this… Gorgeous.


  9. Saskia

    Thanks for the great idea Kim! Wow, you're so organised!

    Sweet greetings, Saskia 🙂

  10. Milla

    Oh I wish I was as organised as you! I always think I'll make colour charts of the colouring media I buy but I never really get round to it. I have made colour charts of some of the inks and pencils I have (just on separate sheets of paper that I've then placed on my crafting room wall where I can see them all the time) but I really should make charts of them all. As soon as I get round to it…. ;D

  11. Michelle Webb

    Kim what a terrific idea, I love it. And you can take your book out to the shops as a reference guide to what you already have. I'm going to do this for sure. I don't have a system like this going but I should. I do line up all my paints in shade order so if I'm feeling I want to use blue, then I can see what products I have in the blue spectrum. But I can see that your book is such a wonderful idea. Hope you have a fantastic 2013, mine is starting off to be pretty fantastic so far. Happy New Year. Michelle x

  12. Juls

    great post!!! I keep meaning to do stuff like that but have never quite got round to it!! Thank you for your inspiration!! Love it!! Hugs Juls

  13. 505whimsygirl

    Wow Kim! This is very organized! When I find color combinations that I like I have a journal that I put them in so I could see doing something similar to you but maybe not at the same detail. I don't have nearly the supplies so it should be simple!

    Thank you for visiting my blog! Looking forward to becoming your newest follower!


  14. McMGrad89

    I like the idea of using a sketchbook to keep track of the different colors you have. I have no organizations system whatsoever. All my stuff is in a bag. That is on my list of things to FINISH this year. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I will keep this idea in mind.

  15. Laura

    I love the way you organize your colors….I am always picking up new art supplies…usually open stock so I can just play with my favorite colors, but I never organize them – just keep them in a big jumbled mess in my drawers and cabinets. And I make my own sprays sometimes- so it would probably help if I wrote down what was in the bottle 🙂

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