Project Colour relationships

Exercise: Colour relationships

Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawing #1136 2004 (National Galleries of Scotland and Tate)

This exercise is divided into two parts.The first is to produce 3 photographs with a combination of primary and secondary colours, adjusting the distance, focal length or framing so that the picture is composed to the proportions listed below:

  • Red: Green                         1:1
  • Orange: Blue                       1:2
  • Yellow: Violet                       1:3

Red: Green (1:1)

Cropped from Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawing #1136 2004

When I saw this artists wall drawing at the Modern Art Gallery in Edinburgh I thought it was perfect for this exercise. I severely cropped the image to the proportions required and in this instance took the photo with my iPhone rather than my normal Nikon SLR.

Orange: Blue (1:2)


I was fortunate to spend a night in the Sahara desert on a holiday to Morocco recently. I found this natural orange : blue ratio was well represented by the  intense colour of the sand in this part of the world. Perhaps the blue is not such a true blue but al least it was as nature required.

Yellow: Violet (1:3)


I found this ratio of colours the hardest to find and this is the nearest I came when I saw these jars of powders in a Moroccan pharmacy.

The second part requires 3-4 images featuring colour combinations that appeal to me. They can be two or more colour combinations with the objective to show that there is no single “correctness” to complementary colours.


The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the world’s 2nd largest mosque and the similar green and blue colours displayed against the pale blue sky compliment each other well.


These bright complimentary reds and orange in the basket of olives in the Casablanca Medina display the classic primary colour combination.


I like these subtle colour combinations in the basket displayed at a pharmacy. The brighter but subdues reds/orange are contrasted well against the free/blues of the stones.


The Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah at Ouarzazate in Morocco has dramatic walls of red earth and stands out against the blue sky with the accent of the green palm.


I liked the subtlety of the pale green against the orange red walls of this building in Marrakech in Morocco.