A lot of people are amazed by my painting colour schemes and often ask me how to pick the right combination and combine certain shades of colours. I put some thought to it and honestly it’s hard to define a recipe “how to do it” because it comes really naturally to me and I choose colours more intuitively than anything else.
But if I try to explain my way of thinking, it would be this way. I believe everyone has their preferred colours. If you’re not sure about it, check your wardrobe, home decor, notebooks, bags, car colour. For me, the favourite one is blue, followed by the colours close to it in a colour wheel – green, purple, turquoise. I love to ground everything a bit with brown or sometimes grey and adding a few sparkles of shimmer with silver, bronze or gold.
My primary personal energy is very calm, peaceful, and as a Libra, I always tend to seek balance. That also shows in my art where I usually reach harmony in colours and yin-yang aspect in composition, used materials, texture.
Colour harmony can be reached in lots of ways. The easiest way is to pick one main colour and use different shades of it, meaning, you can mix it with white or black to get lighter and darker tones and paint with that kind of colour shade selection or you mix it with neighbouring colours in the colour wheel, which gives you a bit more variety.
For example: if your main colour is red, you can make a palette of pure red colour, red mixed with a bit of white, red mixed with some more white and red mixed with a small amount of black and another one, a bit darker red. You can also pick neighbouring colours in the colour wheel to mix it and make a palette of: pure red, orange-red and purple-red.
Harmony is, in my opinion, almost synonym for nature. In nature everything is balanced and if you just pick one leaf and observe the colours you can find there, you have another palette you can use for painting. In that sense, each walk outside can be also a great practice for being a better observer. I can sure promise you that your hikes will get a bit longer but it’s worth it 🙂
For beginners is great to start with just one colour and explore different shades of it, as you get better with that, I recommend mixing and combining the warm (red, orange, yellow) or the cold (green, blue, violet) colours together, the next step are harmonic combinations of warm and cold shades. As you master these steps you can explore the term contrast and include it in your art.