Colour Analysis

I was watching a video on the Web about colour analysis. It would be nice to have my colour pallet all planned out and set up so the colours in my paintings matched or sometimes contrasted. I started looking at pictures of my paintings and realised that, for the most part, they already fall into one of the colour themes discussed on the video. I must do this unconsciously and pick scenes that fall into one of the colour themes discussed on the video.

I don’t try to analyse colour in my paintings but I spend a large amount of time deciding what photos to use and if I need to make changes. It’s pretty clear that a lot of artists do extensive analysis of their colour pallet, but they are far better artists than I. I remember being in studio many years ago and the father of the artist I was studying with set up to paint, and first decided on exactly what pallet of colours he would use. He carefully laid out the colours on his pallet, then proceeded to paint. This was completely foreign to me and amazing since he appeared to be just making up the image on the spot, but all of the colours matched or contrasted perfectly and he never looked at a photo; he just painted from memory, or imagination. I have never been able to do that.

Occasionally I need to add something to a painting. The painting presently on my easel needed a focal point so I’ve added a duck coming in for a landing. I will change the highlights somewhat and suggest the light direction but that is as far as my colour matching goes. One other thing I do to match colours is use whatever is on my brush in various areas of my painting. After spending time getting a colour correct, I take a moment and search the painting for other places where that colour can be used. I’m often very surprised that I find several areas where the colour is just perfect.