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Ishihara test.

Can you see a number? What is it?...

Example of Ishihara test


An artist that I know surprised me when he told me that he was colour blind. He reads the colour on his paint tubes to make sure that he isn’t making a mistake when he paints pictures. He sometimes asked for help from fellow art students at Art College. Later when I shared studio with him he asked me. But he still managed to create great paintings. Which is still a surprise.

This shows us that design, texture, tone, subject, and circumstance are other elements of a painting that can be most important.


What shape is the picture? Landscape or portrait? Where is the horizon? Centre of interest? Perspective?


Impasto, scumble, washes or photo-realistic? Paper, canvas, board, plaster? Knife, brush, spray, fingers, drip?


Darkest versus lightest? Gradual or chiaroscuro?


Portrait, landscape, cityscape, abstract, still life, floral, cartoon, naïve, fantasy, need I go on?


Where shown, framed or not, price, size, audience?

Do you see? We artists have a lot to consider. Full colour awareness is just one factor.

But I would hate to be without it.

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