Painting Colors

In painting colors, you're not only dealing with the paint itself. Paint colors change by light shinging on them. They change by surrounding colors. They change by the color you paint them on - when colors have a partial hide, they're influenced by the color underneath. Sometimes a color even looks different on your painting, than it did on your palette...

Tips for painting colors

The look of your paint colors is affected by:


One kind of blue can look great in a brown environment, and sad or dull when painted on white, in a white environment. When your're painting colors, your paints are raw ingredients, just like when you're cooking - and we all know the taste of ingredients is defined by the way they were used. That goes even more when you do faux painting, color washing and decorative painting techniques.

The way colors behave, depends a lot on the way they were put in your interior painting design, and thesize of your room. color mixing guide, to get an idea about how colors mix.

Color is light, color is matter

colors on the wall

This ceiling was painted white!

Color can be both light and matter. Paint is matter, but it reacts in an immaterial way on other colors (by contrast, shading etc), and to the color of the daylight in your room. This ceiling was painted white. On this picture the room has daylight and TL's. Because of the reflection from the walls and the floor, the ceiling is lit on with blue and green. And the blue and orange light blend into a magenta interval color.

Roughly you can say: paint colors are always more onesided and 'single-colored' then natural colors. Natural colors have upper- and undertones, like a good perfume, or natural sounds. Mixing in little bits of other colors can be a good idea, even with the better paint brands. It balances the colors. When painting colors that don't harmony with other colors in your room: add bits of the other (disharmonic) color to your paint colors, and suddenly they'll harmonize.

Art and interior paintng

When it comes to painting colors, there's no major difference between art and interior painting.. In art, beautiful techniques were developed to make the more dull and natural colors shine - and why not use them for your interior? Old paintings often have contrasting underpainting hues, to make the top color radiate and shine. These are the most beautiful colors to look at, because they're created while you look at them. They are both light and matter. Colors like this are very pleasing for your everyday living environment.

Mixing colors

When you want to mix your own colors, it's good to begin with a starter's set of hues. Here you'll find a color mixing guide, and a list list of 8 colors (including black and white), with which you can mix all other colors. You'll learn about color fast, if you work with this basic set. You'll also find the color names, for acrylic- and oil paint colors.

Working with color knowledge

Of course, it's no use trying to follow all the 'rules'. But trying out a recipe won't do harm. Painting is like cooking: you may use recipes, but you follow your nose, taste and smell, you improvise and try things out. Knowing this stuff can help you understand why you see that some colors look great, and others don't. It helps you understand or support the intuitive choices you make. And some recipes just give ver tasty results, even if you don't understand why...

A little color theory can help you understand the different characters of colors. That is, if you take the colortheory of Goethe. Most of us were taught Newton's theory of color, which is great for building color tv's, but less useful for creatives. I've heard painters declare more than once, that color is a purely subjective thing and that it actually doesn't exist. No wonder that color plays little role in contemporary art...


Related pages: