Color Can Make or Break Your Paintings

by Jollion Hooley
(Florida)

Color Chart

Color Chart

As you are a professional artist, you are learning all the subtle nuances of color to make an impact on your prospective viewer. You are learning all the time with each successive oil painting you complete.


You do not have to “think” color any more, you just do it automatically and it looks great.

Color is a vast subject to master which takes years or even a lifetime to develop all the skills of a “Master Painter” whether that be portrait painting, landscapes or abstract paintings.

I’d like to touch on the importance of “contrasts” of which there are seven;

• Hue contrast
• Light-dark contrast
• Cold-warm contrast
• Complementary contrast
• Simultaneous contrast
• Contrast of saturation
• Contrast of extension

Contrast of hue is the simplest. This makes no great demand on color vision due to it being their most intense luminosity...i.e.blue-yellow-violet.

Just as black-white represents extreme light-dark contrast.

Day and night, light and darkness – this polarity is fundamental to human life and nature.

Your strongest expressions of light and dark – are the colors white and black. These are opposites of course.

IMPORTANT: The phenomena of light and dark, both among white-black and grey and among pure colors – should be thoroughly studied for they give valuable guidelines to your work.

A uniform gray on a flat surface can be brought alive to a mysterious vibrancy by small modulations of shading. Knowing this can improve your paintings enormously.

Gray is characterless color but very readily influenced by contrasting shade and hue. You could say it is mute but easily excited which, with any color, performs subjectively in the eye to liven your artwork with beauty.


Jollion Hooley
November 2015

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Nov 15, 2015
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Painting With Volor
by: Anonymous

Make the painting - not break it. We all know, as artists, that color is vital for successful artwork.

Nov 11, 2015
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Thanks again Jollion
by: Jon

For your valuable input on color. Useful information to know as a full time painter!

Let's have more on your color series!

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