Search
  • Helen English Artist

The art of colour...

So, following on from last week with how to plan and create art that is good. I feel like I should clarify ‘good’ because there are many arguments about what is good when it comes to art, as there should be. Art is supposed to be personal and individual, and should be debated. This is not colour by numbers – very apt for this week’s topic! Art is a creation by an individual and not everyone will necessarily call your work ‘good’ or like it. What I mean by good is work that reflects what you were intending, which you like, in a style which is you, and may therefore be enjoyed by someone else.


My blog this week is about my thoughts and research on how to use colour effectively. There are many schools of thought about colour. Colour, in terms of an art piece really sets the tone of what you create. Colour literally creates mood and atmosphere.


The use of it can soothe or excite, complement subject matter, elevate or depress your mood. We use it in everyday speech:

“He saw red!”

“I feel blue.”

“He turned puce!”

“They were yellow bellies.”

“She was green.”


The colour wheel can help us to understand the way that colours work with each other and how they relate. The feeling of an art piece is not simply about single colour choices but how colours are used in combination with each other. That combination creates the mood and focuses the viewer on where the artist wants their attention, if used effectively. Often particular colours and combinations are the signature of the artist. Think of the blues and yellows in Van Gogh’s work, the reds in Picasso’s.


Mixing colour is definitely a skill which can change mediocre art into art worth looking at. For instance, yellows can range immensely and create highlights or warmth depending on their temperature, purple can enliven a painting or create effective soft shadows, different black bases in the same artwork can create warm shadows or be black holes from which objects jump out.


Try colours out on your palette before they reach your artwork if you are painting or using colour pencils or sticks. Try ideas out and learn form what you find.I work best by just trying things out, realizing there are issues and then researching how I can improve.


The joy of art is in the doing, and then the outcome, when you get your idea just right.


Don’t be afraid, be experimental and brave!

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All