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Colour Stratagies

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

When it comes to colour, there are many different strategies available to you, to achieve the look, feel and style of picture you want to achieve. A colour wheel is a useful reference but you need to learn how to use it and not be a slave to it. Your instinct will guide you too,


Artists have created categories of colours over time and different strategies in their use. This has changed depending on what pigments were available to mix colour with at different periods of history. If you watch an episode of Fake or Fortune, one of the tests of the authenticity of an old painting is to work out what paints are used ( chrome yellow is a more recent invention, for example.)


Paintings using high chroma ( intensity ) colour such as Van Gough Irises ( example below ) was born out of new ideas and theories on colour developed by the impressionists. ( Van Gough is a Post Impressionist painter )


There are lots of ways to think about and use colour,. The best thing is to work out what you want your painting to feel like and then work out your colour palette.


The brilliance of Van Gough Irises is the use of vivid colours with out creating a garish painting. To do this he has used a combination of warm and cool, analogous colours, pure colour mixed with white

( tint ) and a touch of complimentary all set off with gorgeous bold brush work full of movement and life, Its wonderful.


Chloe Augusta 23






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