Posted by: catailsandotherfoundthings | May 26, 2010


You’ve most often heard the word Palette when referring to taste of foods or the board in which paint is placed by an artist. One definition I found for the word palette was: a comparable range, quality, or use of available elements. Just as each person has a particular palette for tastes, textures and flavors through their mouth, each person has a particular palette for color through their eyes. Not everyone sees the same colors when looking at a particular painting. The same is true to most colors that we see. I may look at a particular car and say it is blue, yet you may see the same car and in your eyes it is purple.

The beauty of art is that it is always open for interpretation, even down to the colors in the art piece. Some artists define particular colors as being ‘the standard’ red or blue or yellow, but the fact is that there are no ‘standard’ colors. The range of basic colors react differently when mixed with others and each color has a particular cool or warm tone. Some colors like light blues have an icy temperature, therefor they are defined as ‘cool’ tones. Others like dark blues with red undertones are richer and bolder, giving them a ‘warm’ tone definition. Having said that, it’s relative. No matter what the basic color there are both cool and warm tone types when mixed with particular others.

As an artist is it easy to become attached to a particular color palette, which is natural, but it is important to stay flexible as to not allow all your paintings to look alike. Some of the best artists in history were not afraid to experiment and change up their pigments and make changes. Be brave! Be bold! Be creative and force the change in your works to open yourself up to new possibilities. Who knows what your eyes will see!


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