What has always fascinated me about paints is how you can blend them to create new colours. I have sat for hours with my palette and created many different colours all from three basic, primary colours. To me, it was like opening a present to see what would happen if this colour was blended with that colour. By the time I was done, my palette had the makings of an English garden in full bloom, not to mention the exotic birds contained within.
There are stunning portraits and eye-stopping canvases being created all the time with colour. This does not have to be the case. The picture can be just as stunning when done with the absence of colour. Black and white always get your attention.
You are the creator of the world on your canvas. You can have it as simple or complex as you wish. You can have it be formal or funny. If black and white are what you like, then do black and white. If colour is the key, then add all the colours you wish. You will enjoy the piece more by allowing yourself to just let go and create.
Do not ever worry about whether something looks right or not. As one professional art teacher always stated, there are never any mistakes on the canvas, just happy accidents.
There is one thing you should remember when painting, keep the darks to the shadows. This means you can use the darker colours as a base for the lighter ones and the subject matter will actually shadow itself. Of course, if you cover the entire dark area with a lighter colour then adding the dark background is a moot point.
There are so many things which can be done with colour. I once did an entire landscape using two colours, white and Prussian blue. It was a snow scene centred around a lake. I have to admit, it was beautiful. I am not the only one who thought so. I had it done exactly one hour and someone walked in and bought it right off the easel. Nowhere in the world is the statement “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” more true than in the art world. I have no desire to own a Picasso. To be honest, Norman Rockwell is more my style. In the world of art, there has to be something for everyone. That is what makes it such a grand adventure. Everyone has the ability to shine. Colours allow you to turn a forest into a fall scene. Colours are what make specific portraits more noticeable than others. For instance, Thomas Kinkade has become one of the foremost artists in this decade. He uses lighting and a warm colour palette to create a canvas you would love to walk into. You can see more of Kincade’s work on his website, Thomas Kincade Gallery Never underestimates what colours can do to an image. Always remember your lighting as well.