Colour Theories: Getting Carried Away

Colour. The truth is, it’s not as easy as you think.

This week, I want to talk about what happens when you get carried away by colour.

You can’t just throw down whatever colours you like. Colour is merely the way our eyes respond to reflected light; an incredibly simple and beautiful principle, but difficult to pull off on canvas unless you know what you’re doing.

Colour is the main focus of most of my paintings, and if you know anything of my art you’ll see that I love to work in earthy tones, but sometimes I like to push the colour field out much wider to achieve more interesting results. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,

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This painting is an example of this; I had the composition and the style planned, but I didn’t have any particular colour palette in my head. I knew I wanted forest colours, but I knew I wanted a bold autumn look to it too; reds, yellows, oranges. However, it started looking too busy.

So I decided to eliminate the angry yellows, and replace them with some more subtle greens. Instead of focusing on multiple colours, I opted for multiple tones instead.

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The piece started looking more coherent, and adding the deer pulled the piece together nicely.

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Portrait of Autumn, 2016 (unfinished)

 

It needs some final touches but it was a valuable lesson in colour, learned the hard way!

What are your personal colour theories? What works best for you, limiting, or expanding your palette?

To find out more about commissioning a painting or to enquire about specific paintings for sale send me a message through my Facebook Page or take a look through at my website: cjwaterfieldart.com