Being Brave with Colour

If there’s one thing in modern art making which drives me crazy, it’s the notion that artists should keep to a fixed colour palette in order to be recognisable or consistent. Historically the colours in paintings may have been limited by available pigments, or relative cost but these days we have so much available and exploring colour within art is one of the joys of painting for me.

Of course we all have colours we are naturally attracted to (or vice versa) and I am always drawn to those soft and deep murky blues but the thing with colour is that it’s always about the combination… what it sits next to, the pairings and harmony you can create. Sometimes how a bit of discord can make a painting sing in unexpected ways.

So, as I continue with this series of work one of the things I want to do is to see how I can shake up my natural habit by introducing new colour. This creates a different problem for me to confront. But each painting is a solution to a unique situation so this is one of the ways I like to shake things up.

In this video you can see my thoughts in the studio. If you want to try this for yourself I suggest you choose one area of the colour wheel to keep vibrant. Here I’m using a cadmium red mixed with a cool yellow (hansa or lemon yellow) to make this bright light red. Adding white makes it more coral. I’m avoiding using magenta in this palette.

Let me know in the comments below if you have a colour palette you like to stick with.

If you would like to see how these paintings continue to change you can follow me on Instagram here: @alicesheridanstudio

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1 reply
  1. Romy
    Romy says:

    I love experimenting with color! I think that even small amount of a bright color can make the whole canvas alive but lately, my pieces have been very colorful and I quite like it.

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