Monday, April 19, 2010

Color -- So Many Choices!!

An artist makes continues decisions on what color to use in their work. Color influences both the artist and the viewer. The Russian-born abstract painter, Wassily Kandinsky said “I once painted a picture…by colors without boundaries…I have often noticed that this…composition arouses vital and complex emotions in the spectator…” What I think Kandinsky was really saying is color can be the sole message inspiring feelings.

Color influences the emotions of those looking at an artist’s work, so the decision of what color to use is very important to the success of a piece of artwork. Knowing that certain colors impact the viewer in certain ways, an artist needs to think, “What am I trying to express with this painting and how can my color choices support that expression?” Color creates a mood and supports the artistic message; it is an important tool in visual communication. Just look at one of my favorite paintings by the French romantic painter Eugene Delacroix, “Liberty Leading the People”. In this painting, Delacroix uses bold colors centering on the red, white and blue flag, as Liberty leads the common man forward. It is a powerful painting and composition, all reinforced by the color selection.