The latest updates from Unison Colour

New Colours

29 April 2015

We are delighted to announce the arrival of twelve brand new colours, the Ocean Blues. They are a range of blues requested by the American artist Zaria Forman, who works in pastel on vast drawings of icebergs and oceans. She was looking for some very particular colours, so we offered to do some trials for her, and to see if we could make exactly what she had in mind.

Oliver, one of our pastel makers, set about this process. It started with a search for three darker blues she felt were missing from the range. We started with the colours now called Ocean Blue 1 and 2, but they were way off the mark! However it transpired that they were suitable for her work on the Maldives, so no effort was wasted.

We gradually progressed. Every time we started on a new shade, Oliver didn't just make one. Three were made, one lighter and one darker, so there was a good selection to choose from and to increase the chance of a 'hit'. This meant that we were quickly gathering a large range of new colours. We have chosen twelve from about twenty.

A new colour was found by combining existing colours. Feeling a bit like a professor in a lab, Oliver knew it would lie somewhere between them, so sometimes he worked mathematically, adjusting the recipes by certain amounts, and sometimes by eye. Zaria was sent everything we trialled, even if there were three almost identical, so she could choose what worked. Even the ones that she has not chosen are still great colours to have in our range.

One did get ruled out because it was just too close to other colours, but this happened surprisingly rarely, and just about all of the colours were not like others. Deciding on the twelve was a great matter of debate in Unison Colour with some heated discussion around the table!

Everyone has a different opinion on colour, what is good, what will work, what looks like something else! Oliver loves the aqua colours of Ocean Blue 1 and 2, and the greyness that is included in Ocean Blue 4. He has also been working on a whole new set of greys for Zaria, the purpled-greys of angry seas, and a range of pale greys with so little pigment in them, just a hint of greyblue, for topping off foamy waves.

More unique colours! Maybe one day we will hit the 500 mark!

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