How to be Blue

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Palettes

Inspired by Bluetonic’s mission to ‘awaken your blue mind’, here’s a bookart project: How to be Blue.

Continuing the celebrations of launching Today’s Changing Room I invite you to contemplate blueness!

Whilst blue is traditionally linked with melancholy and low mood, it’s also the colour of the sky and the sea – both magnificently uplifting elements of our natural world.

These little books – yes two-for-one this month – are like paint swatches or colour sample cards. A perfect project for people who love things organised neatly….and especially for those of us who have a whole array of art supplies just waiting for their day in the sun.

Blue doesn’t have to be blue!

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: You'll need

You’ll need:

  • Sample-sized rectangles of thick watercolour paper (I’ve used Khadi)
  • Postcard size pieces of card x 6 (Also Khadi)
  • Hole punch
  • Wool, binder ring or thread
  • As many shades of paint/pencil/crayon/felt tip/ink as you possess
  • Something to write with
  • Something to make notes on or in

Step-by-step:

Make a list of all the blues you see and feel, be they expansive or glum, moody or majestic, mundane or marvellous.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Sample tones

Work out which colour shade best suits each feeling or thing.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Blues!

Mix the tones, and add them to each piece of paper like a swatch sample.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Punching holes

Make a hole at one end of each sheet.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Writing descriptions

Write/print/type your description on the reverse side.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Descriptions complete, ready to bind

Here are my (apparently unrelated) words all laid out.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Simple binding

Attach a loop of thread, or the ring binder, to keep them together.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Complete

What a simple quick and satisfying little book?!

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Second project

Fancy developing that idea? Add three shades to each postcard-sized piece of paper.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Three colour marks

You can choose whether they contrast or clash.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: And descriptors

Describe each shade simply, poetically or elusively…

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: For all six, words

I like the possibility of mixing meaning.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Cover choice

This is going to be the cover page.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Punch one hole in each sheet

As before, punch a single hole at the end of each sheet.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: And tie the loop to secure

Bind together with one knot!

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: 2nd finished book

The second book is done.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to be Blue: Bookart project: Hero image

Keep making books until you’ve run out of blues, or paper, or light…

What are your most favourite and meaningful blues?!

The evocative palettes I’ve used are from Daniel Smith, Wallace Seymour, Derwent (Mountain Blue how had I lived without you?) and Case For Making.

See Bluetonic for more about awakening your blue mind.

Please show us and share your How to be Blue X

13 thoughts on “How to be Blue

  1. Rachel, is the Derwent Mountain Blue an actual tube of watercolor or a watercolor pencil? I can’t seem to find it in a tube, only a pencil.

    1. Dear Barbara, The Mountain Blue came as a pan in the set I linked to – a charcoal watercolour paint.

    1. Hello Teresa, In Edinburgh: Cass Art on George St has it, and Greyfriar’s too, and The Art Shop at Tollcross probably!

  2. What a perfect activity for this time of year. I struggle with the winter blues and long for warmer weather and spring. Thank you!

  3. Thank you, as usual a fun project – could use any colour and follow the theme . I love orange so will try that as well when I am home from my travels.

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