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.
Landscape Series Introduction

Landscape Series Introduction

As an artist, I feel as though I constantly need to evolve.  What inspires me today may not inspire me next month or even next week. Although I truly enjoy painting abstracts and have for several years now, I need to expand my reach.
I am continuing to work in acrylic but have taken on landscapes for about the last three months.  I feel like that transition was so natural and a great next step. My abstract work is very bold, using heavy texture and wide expanse of color.  My landscape collection is be somewhat opposite. Using smooth strokes and many thin layers of color I’m achieving a more gestural work of art. I feel like sometimes less can be more and it shows in the new body of work.
These new landscapes are still somewhat abstract.  I believe that art should take an image or a thought or feeling and try to have the viewer to see it differently.  Art for me is seeing the world differently and in a unique light.  
I have more ideas to expand on both my landscape and abstract series and love to have my viewers along this journey.  Below are some of my newest landscape paintings. They all measure 14”x14”. I like working on a smaller scale as it allows me to produce more work and let my ideas flow.
Seascape PaintingMorning Mist Landscape PaintingYellow and Grey Landscape PaintingSurf Side Landscape Painting


Old Beginnings

Old Beginnings

Anyone who has followed my career or seen my early work knows I began with flowers.  When I started painting my subject matter consisted of flowers or still life's with flowers in them.  I truly loved the process - seeking out a garden or park to take photographs to use as reference for my art. 
I started painting in black and white to focus on shadow, tone and composition.  Later I would paint these same flowers in color.  Now I could practice movement and color theory.  It is probably to that time that I owe my use of bright, bold colors to today. 

I am still inspired by nature (see my latest tree series) and will paint the occasional floral.  My love of color and textured steered me towards working more abstract and conceptually. 

Over the years of painting and photography I decided to marry the two.  Since I had so many of these reference photos it seemed an easy start.  After some trial and error I began merging these photos with my more current paintings and other digital elements.  It is such a great way to pay homage to my beginnings in a fresh way.

I've decided to share these mashup photographs and offer signed, limited edition prints.  You can see them here.  Enjoy!

-Elizabeth Moran