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Thursday, February 09, 2012

How to Recharge Your Color Palette with Pinterest

A Collage of 4 Sunflower Variations each 8x8 pastel
each painting $65 available with Paypal or check

Sometimes I get into a color rut. I catch myself using the same color palette for every painting. You know when you are in a color rut when you find yourself always reaching for the same pastels. I call these my 'go-to' pastels and they are usually the ones worn down to nubs. There is nothing wrong with having favorite 'go-to' colors but it is a good habit to go outside of your comfort zone and use a palette of colors that are different from your usual choices. I'd like to share an exercise I did with my pastel classes. We used Pinterest for color inspiration!

'Schoolhouse Sunflower' 8x8 pastel
If you haven't heard about Pinterest yet you can read my post about how artists can use Pinterest HERE. Pinterest is perfect for visual people. It is a site that allows you to create virtual bulletin boards which you can fill with images. Each image is linked to it's original source. It is such a pleasure to fill my pinboards with beautiful and inspiring images. And now I have a great way to use them....for color inspiration! I have a pin board filled with sample color palettes so I printed them out and used them to choose fresh color choices for my paintings.

Here is my set up with my reference photo, my Pinterest palette printout and my pastels.

My four sunflower variations with the sample color palette strip

Here is how we used the sample palettes we found on Pinterest:
  • Choose 2 color palettes for the exercise. One should be colors you are drawn to and the other should be colors you would never use.
  • Work from a black & white reference or value study so you aren't distracted by the local colors in your reference.
  • Choose your pastels to closely match the palette sample and set them aside.
  • I recommend selecting 3-4 values for each color so that you will have a range of values to create space,form, distance. If you only have one value of each color you will have a flat more abstract painting which is fine if that is your goal.
  • I chose to do four variations of the same subject so I could really see the difference a fresh color palette made in my painting.

'Fiery Sunflower' 8x8 pastel

We learned a lot and made some fun discoveries with this exercise. And everyone did some great work. In fact we were surprised that some color palettes which we didn't like looked wonderful in a painting. If you would like to recharge your color palette and paint outside of your comfort zone, give Pinterest a try. You can check out my color inspiration board HERE or join Pinterest and look for your own color inspirations!

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Ducky75 said...

Very nice! You did a great job coloring the sunflower with pastels.

Tracey Travis said...

What a great idea to use Pinterest in this way. Love the color schemes!

Nick Miliokas said...

Sunflowers! I'm surprised no one thought of it sooner.
But seriously, what attracted you to sunflowers? They seem to appeal to the artist and they're fascinating to the viewer.