An hymn to color

I noticed that the compliment people make the more often about my watercolors is “I looooove your colors!!”. 😀🎨😳😁 Thank you so much, guys, by the way, for the kind words!! ☺️

That’s true that I am pretty at ease with colors… Maybe there is something special about my use of colors?… Not so sure… Do you think so?!

My critic self often thinks that I work too much with colors and that this does a bit of harm to the value impact of my pieces…Painters often say that values are more important than colors (which is highly probably true) so that’s not so good to be too much into colors !

So, I guess my challenge is to keep my bold bright colors while trying to catch, as often as I can, a strong sense of light too.

If I had a share a few tips about color, I would say…

🔹 Look for color in every subject, not only flowers but also urban settings or mundane objects!

🔹 Forget grey and brown. Use a broken blue / a light blue / a purplish blue / a blue-grey for blues and some nice orange or reddish colors for brown! You can always find a tint for these “neutrals”. 😉

🔹 Remember that watercolor fades when drying. Some colors make us think “whoooo, too strong!!” when applied and end up not bright enough at the end! So don’t grey down your colors, don’t make them dirty because of your fears. Use them pure and bright and you’ll see! You can always glaze something on top at the end if the result seems too strong,

🔹 Think of using color variations. To make this red subject exciting, use some red here, some pink there, some crimson out there and even a bit of orange… and let them mix on the paper ! Let you wash dry in peace 😉 before touching it again or saying it look too weird! 😁

🔹 Add a few really dark touches at the end to make the color pop. Once again, The painting can look garish if the values are too shy, too soft. With a dark area just near, you bright color will get a new impact. 🙂

🔹 Try to balance warm and cool colors. If you know you are going to paint bluish shadows (cool) all over your sketch, use a warm color (sandy beige yellowish color) for your building. If, at the contrary, the painting looks really warm (a lot of red, yellow, orange colors), dress your character with a cobalt blue shirt or add a purplish blue background or -once again- shadow.

Hope that helps! ☺️

It feels so good to publish a new article here! 😀 

I hope it feels good for you too!!!! 😅😜

I have a lot of painting adventures planned this late spring / summer so I hope I will find a chance to share it with you, maybe with shorter articles.

Take care and create!! 😘

9 thoughts on “An hymn to color

  1. Yes I do love your colours, they make your work amazing, they are lively and uplift the soul. Thank you for your tips.

  2. First thing I noticed was that you are not afraid to use purple (which I am)… your colors are gorgeous and your tonal values are correct…really lovely work, thanks for sharing.

  3. Lovely stuff here… I used to get email notices when you posted new work, but haven’t been getting them. Tried to sign in again, but it said I was already? I hate missing your inspiring work, wish I could come to France for your workshop, have you considered making a video? I’d buy one for sure.

  4. Bravo pour ces magnifiques aquarelles! Je trouve que tu traites superbement les clairs-obscurs à travers les contrastes entre couleurs chaudes et froides. En particulier le panorama du pont et la perspective de la rue avec ses rangées de voitures. Merci pour tes conseils et ton inspiration!

  5. I am enjoying reading your article as I too love lots of bright colour and I think your paintings are beautiful. You mention that ” Painters often say that values are more important than colors (which is highly probably true) so that’s not so good to be too much into colors ” . I am no expert in fact I am just learning watercolours but I do lots of reading and looking at other artists works, you gone on to say “need to capture more light So, I guess my challenge is to keep my bold bright colors while trying to catch, as often as I can, a strong sense of light too.” I think you already do this beautifully. I hope you do not change too much as it would be a shame to deprive your followers of the beauty of the colour in your paintings. The saying goes, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and that is so true. I have seen lots of w.c. painting by well known and highly respected artists but somehow they do not have that sparkle that yours do. Who wants a photographic image give me your works anyday. “forget grey and brown” such good advice you give here. The world is gloomy/grey enough , your paintings give my spirit a lift.

  6. I used to get a notice when you posted to your blog. I haven’t had anything since the post you did about your workshop in Spain with Alvero. Should I sign up again? I don’t want to miss what you are doing. I too love your colours…don’t loose them.

  7. love your work and colours. I too see and paint colours more than hues and values. I find that by the end, my colours have given the values anyway.

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