Vinita Pappas

For the Painter #56: Color choices

published3 months ago
1 min read

Hello Reader,

This week in For the Painter #56...

Color choices

Over the last few months, I've studied Stephen Quiller's books, including Color Choices and The Painter's Guide to Color. (Check your local library.)

I've been experimenting with a palette of 12 highly chromatic hues, representing the color wheel's primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. I intend to find six pairs of complementary colors that are pleasant and interesting pigments. I'll share my choices soon.

"Color is the most emotional element that we, as painters, have. And if it is used well, color can go a long way toward expressing an artist's intention or enhancing a mood."

-Stephen Quiller

What's the point of this experiment? First of all, it's been great practice. There is much to be learned about color! And it's easy to use same hues over and over and get stuck in a color rut.

Secondly, a small palette of 12 pure shades will allow me to mix about any color. Complimentary colors also blend well to create complex neutrals - my term for neutrals with subtle color separations.

Here is an interview with Stephen Quiller that is a good read.

This week's project

Finally, I leave you with an excerpt from Painter's Guide to Color, pg. 85. If you are looking for a painting project this week, here it is!

"A good way to start may be to take one of your paintings, one that may be lacking in something (possibly one that follows too closely the color from a photograph), and start again with the same composition.

This time think more clearly about what you are after with the painting. Select colors that will deeply express these feelings. They might be quite different from the existing painting.

By working through this process, your paintings will come closer to the essence of what you are trying to say."

Have a colorful week!