J. M. from Highland, Illinois asked, "It is difficult for me to envision colors of paint on the wall and colors of furniture to be chosen for that room. Do you have any tricks on ways to develop that talent?"

Dear J,

To learn a new skill, you must practice! Practice! Practice!  You cannot become a concert pianist overnight, nor can you envision colors in a room overnight. If you have the desire to achieve it, you must practice it.

First, think of a room that you are familiar with. Without being in that room, close your eyes and “see” what you would see if you were walking in it, but make sure you are doing it with your eyes closed. This will reduce the distraction of what is physically before your eyes. Can you visualize what color the cabinets are? Do you notice the color of the curtains, etc? Write it down to check yourself. After experimenting with visualizing things that are familiar to you, try to see the color you have chosen in the room. Make it a game so that you enjoy the process as well as the outcome.

Another option would be to create a diorama, of sorts. Who said the envisioning must be done without physical props? Use a cardboard box and paint it with the color you are considering. Bring a sample of carpets, curtains, and furniture coverings together inside the colored box. Use the lighting from the room that you intend to paint so that it will be the same as inside the box. (Outdoor lighting can make a huge difference in how color is seen.) The diorama may not be a perfect replica of how the room will look, but it’s a better option than looking at small paint chips.

Thanks for asking!  Lynnette Schuepbach

Lynnette is an author/illustrator who sees creativity in every aspect of life. To find out more about her and creativity, visit her Web site KidsDoRead.com.  Her children’s books create curiosity in children and speak to sibling rivalry and bullying.

Lynnette serves as chair of Art in the Park on the second weekend of October at the Lindendale Park in Highland. Many local artists will be exhibiting there. It’s her pleasure to be a part of this opportunity for you to experience “World Class Art in a Hometown Atmosphere.” More info at www.highlandartscouncil.org.

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