My colour preferences

Ok, here's how it went when I tried the test outlined in the previous section:

Step 1: Picking out the colours, I decided to limit the search to (fairly large) bricks and plates. This was mainly becacuse I wanted to photograph the result, and very small utensils are hard to make out in a large photo.
The selection turned out to be pretty representable, because few colours were actually left out, and those that were, are mostly too rare to be seriously considered for building (you don't base a colourscheme for an entire moc on some rare shade of light green, that has only ever been used for that particular scala-telephone).

Step 2: I might have an unusually high tolerance for colours (after all, I began collecting them actively), because when I tried to part up the colours in likes and dislikes, I realized that even though I preferred some colours, I didn't actually dislike the rest!
I was able, however, to separate the rest into 'parts I don't use because they're too powerful/aggressive' and 'parts I don't use because they're too weak', while the parts I prefer takes up the neutral middle ground.

Step 3: In the final step, I parted all the parts into 'plenty' and 'too rare', and arranged everything in this freehand diagram:

My observations

There are no bad colours, only misunderstood ones!

Grouping and pastels: My biggest surprise was how well the groups of colours look together - especially the 'weak' colours: Usually, you just get annoyed with them, because they're rare and look too much like the colour your were actually looking for. Put together on a light background, however, they formed a distinct 'pastel'-like quality: With sufficient quantity and a bit of practice, they ought to look really good.
Good examples of this use is the light blue stripe Spook puts on a lot of his creations, and the colourschemes by the sci-fi comic book author Moebius (see concept art gallery). So I guess it's time to bury the axe with the pastels :)

Not ugly but powerful: At the other end of the spectrum from the pastels, the powerful colours tended to clash with each other, but they have great potential used sparingly, and perhaps together with dark neutral colours - because you really don't need that many to create eye-catching colourschemes.
Most of nnenn's creations are good examples of powerful colours, although you can't really accuse him of using it sparingly ;)

Rareness is the main issue: This brings us to perhaps the most important observation, namely that popularity isn't about looks, but rarity: There aren't actually any 'ugly' colours in the lego palette, and the primary reason we don't use them is that they're simply too rare: In my experience you need a good assortment of plates, slopes, special parts and tiles in any given colour before you can really start using it for anything.

Conclusion

I hope that you've found out a lot of interesting things about your collection and preferences, but what can you actually use it for?

Acceptance: You might want to bury the axe with certain colours, because they're actually ok, and try to actually use them once in a while.

Sorting: Instead of getting annoyed at rare colours, because you mistake them for others, you might want to part them out in special boxes. That way you are also better able to judge when you have sufficient quantity and variation to begin using a colour.

Hoarding: Finishing the test gives you a very good starting point for strategic collecting, because once you know which colours you need and want, you can start stocking up on them if they're availiable in sufficient variety on Bricklink - instead of just grabbing everything like I did at a certain period.
Conversely, you might also have discovered some under-utilized colours - I've personally got quite a lot of sand-green, tan and brown, that I don't use all that much - so next time I start on a MOC, I might use one of those, instead of wearing down my collection of the colours I *always* use.

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In the next section we have a look at how you build the most important tool for making good colourschemes: the colour wheel.

[return to colour tutorial index]

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