Jonathon Marc Mendes shares his take on tones of the Annie Sloan Colour Chart

Today I’ve had a day away from painting anything. Earlier this week we hosted our first Paint Pro Inspo training day at the Loft for interior designers, and we had an absolute blast, talking about all things paint. 

Messy fun with IOD stamps, Saltwash and Annie Sloan Chalkpaint on Paint Pro Inspo Day

About a year ago, Annie Sloan did a Facebook live and there was lots of talk about tonal colours. There was a lot of confusion, because Annie said that Barcelona Orange and Paris Grey might be the same tone and a lot of people were confused about what she was saying. As ever with colour Annie is spot on. Some of you might be confused as I write this, so please keep reading!

Tonal to me means the depth of shade, not the colour. So, today I’ve been playing, adding some of the new Charleston colours to my own workshop copy of the colour wheel, and it gave me an idea.

What I did was to deconstruct the colour wheel to make a tonal Annie Sloan chart. For me, it really helps to see the colours in a different way. I came up with a simple way to see the tone of a colour – just photocopy the colour chart in black and white and as you can see from the image below you can easily see the tonal difference between them without the hue confusing us! 

You can see dark tones, middle tones, lighter tones. I then went a step further and deconstructed the colour wheel itself into columns to show the same tones in one column, which you can see in this third chart below. 

During our Paint Pro Inspo Day we discussed tone and Vanessa Sayce from The Marmalade House, suggested how well the dark tones sit really well with gold, the mid tones sit really well with copper and the lighter tones sit beautifully with silver. We just loved this insight and were delighted to share, as it really helps when thinking about how to use gilding or foils and want to ensure what you choose sits perfectly with them for your interior.

A colour version of the deconstructed chart below shows you which colours fit into which tonal grouping. I have no idea if this stacks up in trained interior design terms, because I’m totally self taught, but this is the sort of stuff we talk about in the Painted Love Academy! For me, these cut-up versions really show the tonal differences between the shades of colour.

I’m interested in expanding on the ways I use this in future work, I wonder what it says about you and your style.

And if you’d like to talk about it some more in my Painted Love Academy closed group, please ask to join after you’ve taken my 6-Week Masterclass or any 2 online tutorials.

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