No artist’s toolbox can be complete without a talk about color. But this isn’t your regular post on color theory – for that, read my post on Decoding Color Theory. Today, we will talk about using color stories, i.e., story telling through the medium of color.
Storytelling through color
Have you heard of color psychology? According to studies, it has been found that different colors have the ability to determine human behavior. For example, red and orange pills are generally used as stimulants – explains why we get such colorful drug capsules, doesn’t it? Color psychology is also used extensively in marketing and branding, in designing window displays, shop fronts and even hotels foyers. The combination of colors can change the energy and mood of a space, and even have an impact on your mood. Hence, the importance of color stories.
Some common color associations
While there are common common color associations, we all bring our own unique perspective to what a particular color means to us. Here are a few examples of common color associations
Red is considered the color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. It is also the color of anger and sexual passion.
Yellow is associated with the mind and the intellect; it is optimistic and cheerful, but can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice.
Blue is the color of trust and peace; of loyalty and integrity; and also of conservative views and frigidity.
Green stands for balance and growth, as well as self-reliance and possessiveness.
Purple is the color of the imagination; it is creative and individual; but can be immature and impractical.
Do any of these common color meanings hold true for you? Some may, others may not. That is because color associations change with culture and memories and individual associations.
Your color stories
So what is your color story? Have you ever thought about it?
Look around you at the colors you love to wear, the colors you like to be surrounded by, the colors you automatically gravitate towards and those that you don’t much care for. This creates your own unique color story. And it is this color story that you carry forward into your art journals.
But how do you pull all of these together to tell a cohesive story?
Creating color palettes
By creating your favourite color palettes. One way is to simply play around with colors and tints on your page until you see the combinations that you like. Another way is to look around you for inspiration – look at nature, at fabrics, interiors that you love – see how they have woven together colors and patterns and texture to create feelings of energy, movement, calm. Then think about how you can replicate it on the page.
Put this lesson to work: Pull out your colors and start to lay them out next to one another on the page to see the color combinations that you like