Pictured below is what I consider to be a colorful painting. I say this as I have 6 neutral toned paintings on my work table in the studio. Color has always been hard for me. It’s not hard to paint with, it’s just hard to choose my palette. Many paintings start with one direction in mind and somehow take on a totally different appearance before they are finished.
I’ve spent a long time working with transparent and opaque paint, I know roughly what is going to happen when I mix two colors together. I can look at colors “in the wild” and I know how to recreate that same color (ish). One time I was looking for a book on “how to mix color” and the book that I found was so technical.. I couldn’t take it. (I am also known for dropping out of college…abandoning a Major in Photography that was almost completed because the teacher gave me technical assignments, but that story is for another time.)
With experience, I started to become more comfortable not with picking color, but with learning how to tweak the colors I was putting down. If I sit something aside and think it looks “off” a bit, I feel very confident in being able to make the correction. That skill is probably the most valuable skill I have learned as an artist. I’m kind of excited about it.
I like to think that every time I sit down to paint something, I learn something new. If I don’t learn something about the piece of art or my paint, I learn something about myself. I feel pretty good about that.