Have you ever wondered why you are attracted to a particular piece of art? There are many facets to a successful painting, but the one that may draw viewer in more than any other, is
COLOR. In Phase I & II of this series 10 STEPS TO PERFECT “MINI” ART, we have covered the topics of Panel Preparation & Subject & Composition. But for me, the fun part begins when I select my colors, gather my brushes & load up my palette with a beautiful rainbow of paint. Color can have a huge effect on human emotion as it pertains to art. In Phase III of this series we’ll visit the amazing wide world of COLOR!!


A painting can evoke an emotional response in many ways, but there’s no denying that color plays the biggest part in how someone responds to it. Cool colors such as blue or green tend to have a calming effect while red or yellow might impact the viewer differently. There are volumes that can be found on the principles of color theory, covering such topics as primary, secondary, tertiary, complementary & analogous colors, shades, tints, intensity, & the list goes on. This may be more than you really want to know about the subject of color, but if you’ve ever set foot in the paint department of your local Lowe’s or Home Depot in search of that perfect color to paint your walls, you’ve already been introduced to the many elements of color theory without even realizing it. And yes, it can be frustrating. There are so many variables that affect color. Lighting in particular can drastically change how we perceive color, especially when choosing that all important wall color. We’ve all been there ~ you head home armed with those tiny sample paint chips & you’re convinced you’ve found the perfect color, until you slather your whole room with it & then wonder if they mixed the paint correctly at the store.

If you’ve ever had the task of choosing paint for a wall color, imagine an artist having to make perhaps thousands of color choices in the course of creating one painting. This is where color theory plays a role. If you were to magnify most paintings you would probably be amazed at how many different hues, tints & shades of color were contained in the brush strokes creating it. But that’s not the artist’s intention ~ it’s the sum of its parts that the artist hopes you’ll see. Colors are a vehicle an artist uses to express emotion in their work, which can ultimately influence your emotional response & feelings about a painting. Therein lies the magic of color.


Ask any artist why they have so many art supplies & they will most likely look at you as if you had asked them to explain the meaning of life. There’s just something so inspiring about an art supply store ~ maybe because it speaks to all of the creative possibilities just lying in wait for an artist to explore.

The three primary colors are sufficient to mix millions of colors. Add a couple of brushes & you have all you need to sufficiently complete a satisfactory painting. Yet i
t’s impossible for me to wander any art store without feeling the lure of all those lucious tubes of color & beautiful brushes. It may be an addiction to art supplies, but I would like to think it’s more about striving to improve & using any tools available to achieve that goal.

having too many art supplies is like having too much fun

The truth is, there are many brands of brushes & paints & they can be different from each other in so many ways, so it’s not uncommon for an artist to like one brand for their Burnt Sienna & another brand for their Prussian Blue. As with most things cost isn’t necessarily the deciding factor. It can also be a matter of personal preference, especially where brushes are concerned. Artists have been known to create amazing works with a variety of brushes & non-traditional tools intended for things other than artworks. So from the artist’s perpective, creativity has no bounds. For most, it’s more about the end result & connecting with the viewer & hopefully touching their emotions in some way.

I love being an artist & I’m grateful when someone appreciates & connects with my work. That will always be my main goal when creating. As far as the never ending quest for that perfect brush or tube of paint ~ I prefer to believe my art supply obsession helps me to become a better artist. But at the very least it makes the job of being an artist that much more fun. The icing on the cake is when others enjoy my work even half as much as I enjoy creating it.

NEXT WEEK: Phase IV of my 10 STEPS TO PERFECT “MINI” ART ~ A sneak peek into my first painting completed for the 25 DAYS OF MINIS exhibit & insights into my plans for the remaining 24!