“What color should I experiment with next?” That is a question you’ve likely asked yourself as an artist. You probably stopped yourself from using a certain color out of fear of ruining the painting. You probably wondered if a color combination merges together.
As you can see, many of my paintings feature shades of blue.
For this blog, I want to discuss the psychology of colors. The colors you choose speak to your audience and will get the point across. First figure out what statement you want to make. After that, then choosing a color will be easier.
Red can encourage feelings of warmth, hostility and anger. It often represents passion. Blue is a cool color and can create feelings of calmness or sadness. In February 2010, a study on how colors affect mood was done. The study found that people with anxiety were more likely to associate their mood with the color gray. Artists have to take the colors in consideration. The thing about abstract art is it may look random and messy but it is carefully planned out.
Green with envy. Seeing red. Feeling a bit blue. In linguistics, you can even see how powerful colors are. It has also been used in popular culture. Do you remember how light up shoes that changed colors were the envy of every child of the 90’s? Do you recall how mood rings supposedly changed colors based on the wearer’s emotions?
Colors are often used as metaphors for moods which is why artists pick their color with a purpose. Often, the shade is more important than the color itself. Usually dark blue is associated with melancholy but light blue can be associated with happiness. One of my favorite examples of how a specific color can really convey the message the artist wants to share is “The Old Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso. It is one of his most iconic works that he created during the famous “blue period” where he was suffering from poverty and emotional anguish.
The artist can intentionally pick their colors to trigger a certain emotion in the audience. This painting is one example of that. It offered the viewers a brief peek into his mind and their own personal life experiences will impact how they interpret it. As an artist, you will often have to determine the best combination of colors to use. Not just colors but the shades as well. To decide, ask yourself “What point do I want to make with this painting?” Then you will be able to decide. Like Picasso said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. ”
What is your favorite color, and why? Comment below.