A World of Colours

Artists have taken much from nature in the form of shapes and patterns, yet the natural world has also given them a wide range of colours. It might appear that this refers only to what they can see, but natural further provides them with the materials they need to make pigments to reproduce what they see. It is a harmonious relationship that exists between the world of colours and those portraying it. Every artist knows their colour palette comes from the natural world, but not all their viewers are aware of how intense the connection is at times.

The majority of artists today may be slightly disconnected from the natural world because they often purchase their paints from a supply shop, but their ancestors did not always have that option. The colours they saw had to be reproduced using materials from the natural world around them, and they often made up their own paints. Trees, bushes, roots, rocks, and even dirt were mixed to create the beautiful shades they applied to their canvases.

Modern artists are lucky to be able to skip the step of creating their own paints, yet they do still mix them together to create different shades of colours when they are working. Some of them may want a sky that is a pastel blue, others could see the green foliage on a tree or bush needs to stand out in a brighter green. Each colour they use will heighten the perception of the viewers, so mixing colours that occur in nature is all part of their training.

It can be difficult for the untutored student to learn how to mix and shade the bright basic colour palettes they begin with, but it is an important component of painting a picture that will bring a message from their vision to the mind of a viewer. Learning how to mix different paints today is easier since they are commercially manufactured, but creating just the perfect shade is still left up to the artist as they work their magic upon a canvas.