Art - Decor - Life. The Blog

An Artist's Color Palette

An Artist's Color Palette

(păl′ĭt) n.
  1. A board, typically with a hole for the thumb, which an artist can hold while painting and on which colors are mixed.
  2. The range of colors used in a visual medium, in a picture, or by an artist:
color palette
Yes they are coffee lids!  My boyfriend and I LOVE our coffee so I get a new palette every two weeks.

but were talking about definition number 2...

I often find myself working on multiple paintings at a time.  It's especially easy to do when working on smaller size canvas, which I’ve been doing more lately.  When I do this I usually work with the same colors or color palette. I’m not sure if its an instinctual thing or if it's just because I have those colors already mixed and ready to paint with.  Either way I find it makes for great work.

As I’m painting with the same colors I can begin to notice how one color looks next to another or how a glaze may bring out the color it's painted over. I’ve also started using more dripping and scratching techniques.  I love using these techniques, it's almost like magic. You don't know what color you’ll uncover or what texture you might create. Most of the time they can turn into “happy accidents”

Here are my newest works using the same colors.  Often when I work with the same palette I use 3-4 colors and just change the tint, hue, tone or shade.  Here are a few more definitions just in case you have no idea that I’m talking about :)
Tint: A color that has been lightened by adding white.
Hue: The color of paint as it appears out of the tube, unmixed.
Tone: A color that has been lightened or darkened by adding gray
Shade: A color that has been darkened by adding black.
set of two beach paintings
These two paintings were done in navy, grey, goldenrod and a light-grey blue.  I almost always use pure white in my paintings, especially my landscapes.
As an visual artist I think it’s important to work with the same colors for multiple pieces. It helps keep your portfolio cohesive. It’s good to have a collection of works, even if it’s only a few pieces, and working with the same colors can be the easiest way to achieve that.  On my next post I talk about how I relied more on style and texture to create a small series of abstract paintings.

Leave a comment