I awoke with this idea in the middle of the night last night but I’m not sure why it was so compelling. It’s something I’ve done many times and it’s a great way to jump outside your comfort zone and build your creativity. It’s all about color. It’s quite easy to do, but it will really help you to hone your technique.
You simply recreate a scene or an image, whether real or from your imagination, but in totally different colors. It sounds easy but it can really stretch you. I recommend making your first color choice, and then working all the other colors based on that choice. There are a lot of ways you can go, from garish to subtle. You can work from the color wheel in primaries and there complements or you can throw the color wheel out the window and just go totally random. You can go for aesthetically pleasing, wildly psychodelic or anything in between. The idea is to create something that really pushes you creatively and breaks down the barriers that exist in the minds of even the most creative people.
This exercise will be especially helpful if you find yourself being too literal with color to move you toward painting what you actually see. For example. I remember seeing a painting that blew me away. It was a winter scene at twilight and the snow was all purple. The thing is the artist was not trying to be unusual. Snow isn’t white at twilight The problem was if you ask me to paint snow, my hand will always reach for the white. There are a multitude of colors in anything you see, The trees that I am looking at out the window look green to be sure, but to capture the light on them I would have to use yellows, blues, even black and white, possibly even purples to enhance some the shadows. Similarly when we are young we are taught tree trunks are brown. They’re actually mostly warm grays with a multitude of tones and shadows. How would these color choices change if I decided to make their foliage pink?
I think you’ll find it to be a lot of fun and it will help you in your work with color.