Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How I Choose a Painting Palette


Lee Nixon - Fine Art

October 2012                 http://lee-nixon.artistswebsites.com

Hello and thank you for stopping by my website to see my Impressionist paintings, drawings, and floral paintingss. I have been painting landscapes and other subject matter for nearly 48 years. My paintings reflect a reverence for a serene earth, and the desire to share it with you through color, pattern, and texture. I work primarily in acrylics for their versatility and compatibility with other media.


How I Choose a Painting Palette

Artists begin with a palette void of color. Thus, the first step involves choosing colors that will represent the feelings, ideas, and passion of the artist toward the subject matter.

I love bold colors, especially complementary colors. Complementary colors face one another across the color wheel as opposites. For example: red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet, yellow orange and blue violet, red orange and blue green, red violet and yellow green.

Complementary colors enhance one another when applied side by side. A cool green next to a bright red will generate a fiery pulsating red, whereas a warm red next to a green hue will enhance the cool, soothing effect of green.

So you can imagine what is on my palette! On one side you will have cool colors, such as; violets, blues and greens, whereas the opposite side will consist of warm colors; yellow, orange, and red.

How do I put this to practice? Often I will use a reddish hue (color) for grasses, and then overlap it with blades of green, yellow green and blue green. A beautiful blue spacious sky will be filled with gorgeous sun struck clouds consisting of yellow orange, white, blue, yellow, and a touch of violet.

The law of optics applies here. The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms edited by Julia M. Ehresmann, defines mixing Optical Mixing as the involuntary mixing of juxtaposed colors by the eye. Thus at a certain distance, juxtaposed dabs of red and yellow pigment produce the sensation of orange. The colors seen by optical mixing appear more clear and brilliant than those obtained by mixing pigments on a palette.(end of definition)

 One’s eye will dance before the pulsating colors as they excite the eye. Cool colors generally recede, however if a warm color is placed behind a cool color, it will push it forward. A cool color, on the other hand, if it is placed in front of a warm color will attempt to push it back, thus creating a pulsating effect. This explains why my palette is full of bright bold colors.

How do you choose your painting palette? There are many color arrangements such as: analogous, complementary, split complementary, triads, warm and cool colors. Also, one may select a monochromatic color scheme, one color plus white, black and gray. What a selection!

I will continue to discuss other topics in my next newsletter. Thanks for stopping by.