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Paint color choice is an important way to create an emotion in your painting.
Each color elects a different response to a viewer.
Knowing what a color means when it is viewed can help you plan your next painting.
Which brings us to Superman’s blue suit
the color blue
A search for “emotion and the color blue” finds that “blue” is
- serene, trustworthy and inviting
- reliable and responsible
- the color of trust, honesty and peace.
Predictable and safe, blue is the most universally-liked color. Therefore, blue reduces stress and is the color of calm and serenity.
Visualize “blue” yourself
- being on the warm sand looking out over the endless blues of the ocean.
- or remember lying on your back in the grass looking at the vast cloudless blue sky overhead?
Other “blue” associations
The lighter the value of blue, the greater the freedom we feel.
Speakers chose blue outfits because the message that blue communicates is that the speaker has higher ideals filled with the truth.
Blue is also the color of devotion, belief and help.
Look the next time you are in a waiting room.
See whether you can find paintings, walls or furnishings that feature blue.
Other examples of associations with emotions and color are discussed in the garden and colors post.
Here is a small painting example of this
First, look at this watercolor sketch of a baby robin.
- Pretty “meh”, right?
- This little watercolor baby bird is as dull as its reference photo.
- Nature designed and intended the baby robin to be dull to hide it until it can fly well.
But what if I want to paint a baby robin with spirit and determination that hops about insisting on more worms from mom and dad?
Or a baby robin that is joyful and silly?
Let’s see about a “blue” baby robin. Even a “grumpier” baby robin for this reference.
This guy is way more interesting than the boring brown one.
Kinda easy to imaging this:
But, what if I don’t feel confident painting from my imagination?
- What it I am scared to not completely follow the colors on my reference photo?
- Is there an easy way to get my colors changed and make them look good?
- How can I be sure that the colors I want to paint will look good together?
What is color harmony?
Color harmony is the idea that colors are combined so that
- they are “in harmony” to the viewer
- that the colors work well together.
- there are 5 types of color harmony
- we will be examine them all in the series of color theory posts.
- (promise, only bite-sized pieces in each post, so that it is remains understandable)
For today, here is a cool way to keep your color choices matched and working together.
- Use colors that nature has put together for us.
- pick an inspirational image.
- (In my examples, I have the beautiful flowers from my garden)
- Then, use a color picker and find the colors used in the image that you like.
Examples of paint color and emotion
Here are an image of a cream iris compared to a red corn poppy.
Isolate the colors in each inspirational image.
Now using those isolated (harmonious colors) change each baby robin watercolor sketch.
Stay with one color way for a particular painting.
Each of these little robin babies is an example of paint color and emotion. The shy little green guy makes you feel differently about him than you do about the braver red-purple guy.
We will continue in the next watercolor lesson posts to understand color choice, what each color means. Plus we will find out about the five types of color harmony and how to make our colors work in our paintings.
Here is my final “baby robin painting”
It is called “Do Re Mi”.