February was a difficult month to get excited about flowers. Although, I mustn’t overlook the magic of seeing those first snowdrops! Drifts of pretty white bells, clumped together taking refuge along the sheltered grass banks by the old dry-stone walls. Driving through the Cotswolds, I see them from the comfort of my car, as their dainty flowers nodded in the month’s bitter cold wind. A reminder that February is a winter month here in the UK however much we long for spring.
2023 was the first year I’ve attempted to grow snowdrops. Inspired by our move last May I wanted to introduce them to the cottage's very neglected garden. So I was delighted to see them finally bloom last week. Hopefully as the years pass, they’ll thicken up to produce beautiful thick clumps under the cottage’s oak trees.
With colour lacking, and the mud and grey skies still very much an everyday occurrence, I decided to introduce my readers to colour forecasting in February’s Creative Publication.
Winter months are perfect for planning what colours to introduce into the garden's beds and boarders for the coming summer months. I spend hours pouring over flower and seed catalogues, making lists of everything I want to grow and include.
As an educational background in Fine Art I consider myself to be a colourist above being just a floral photographer. I enjoy bringing colours together and exploring how they interact with one another. I enjoy 'playing' with colour both in my floral styling and in creating collections.
Colour can be subtle or striking, gentle or loud. I’m drawn to different palettes depending on the time of year. For February I start out looking to the fresh green palettes of early spring, the snowdrops with their slender fresh green leaves and the viburnum with it's tiny clusters of white flowers. The hellebores provide rich and dusky pinks, with muted greens, all of which are now coming to the end of their flowering season.
In February’s Creative Publication, I explore, using Photoshop, how to create colour palettes and colour swatches taken from a photographic image. It’s a lot of fun and slightly addictive. Exploring colour in this way awakens the mind to the understanding that colour is ever present. Even in very muted and seemingly neutral images there is an abundance of colour.
I was therefore, so impressed to see so many delightful colour palettes posted in the Facebook group. Seeing how other creatives explore colour from their work is fascinating and highly inspirational.
Colour is a Language
Colour is a language. A language that brings another voice to our work. Colour is so powerful it can affect our emotional response and even our intellectual understanding of a product or subject. Colour is so significant it is the most powerful player in branding, this includes our own personal branding and how we should present and market our own work.
For February I created a Portfolio Guide (that you can download for free) in this guide I touch on the subject of creating colour palette collections. Building portfolio collections based on colour enables you to group images together that may have been taken across different seasons or even years. You can group different flowers and plant varieties together and create collections solely based on mixing single or complimentary colours together.
The collection below inter-weaves the two previous colour palettes together to create a more complex mixing.
The Creative Professional
If you’re a creative professional then learning how to work with colour, both at a conceptual stage and for presenting your work, will strengthen your professional portfolio. It’s a good practise to get in the habit of creating new collections (that doesn’t have to always contain new work). You can send these out to potential buyers, agents and editors alike. You can create larger mood boards to showcase how your work ‘sits’ within a wider colour scheme. This is particularly beneficial if you're pitching your work for licensing to the home interiors market.
You can use software apps such as Canva to create more complex portfolio pages or create your own in Photoshop. In February's Creative Publication I provide 2x Photoshop templates so that you can start creating your own easy colour palettes. Find out more here. (Please note: the Free templates included in February's Creative Publication are not those shown in this post).
What will we explore in march together? As we look ahead to March, I’ll be returning to colour for the first week’s creative prompt. Find out more in March’s Creative Publication – Now on sale.