17 Ways Real Artists Choose Paint Color That May Surprise You

By Nicole Tinkham

paint-color

You’re inspired and ready to create! You have all your supplies in front of you and a blank canvas on your easel. But something is stopping you. You look down at your paint and have no clue where to start when it comes to color choices. This one decision could make or break your artwork! What if you choose the wrong color?? Calm down, we’ve all been there. In fact, we’ve asked our artist friends over on Facebook how they choose paint colors to give you some ideas. You may be surprised but not one answer involves a color wheel! Here’s what they had to say.
How do you choose paint colors for your project?

1. “From my photo reference and then ramp it up a notch or two!” -Diane

2. “The colors are in the vision before I begin to paint- it’s a matter of transferring the vision onto the canvas how it appeared in my mind.” -Kriss

3. “I have a set of colors I use mainly. I have tried to use different colors, but always wind up going back to the ones I like.” -Kelly

4. “I usually see the general color in my head and make a scheme for it. I love mixing and making new colors.” – Caitie

5. “I look at the canvas and see the colors. Often if I start out with an idea of what I want I find it it needs to change to what I see it just flows out onto the canvas.” – Lorna

6. “I have a set palette for portraits and then whatever is needed for flowers and landscapes.” -Rita

7. “I let it speak to me and then the team usually comes after that.” -Heidi

8. “I don’t choose them. They choose me.” -Cindy

9. “By what my feeling is for the day.” -Doreen

10. “I use my feelings to pick my colors.” – Estela

11. “Depend how my mood is the time to make my creation!” – Beatriz

12. “With emotion.” – Sharon

13. “Intuitively” – Saddhasura

14. “Ohhhh this one is pretty.” -Heather

15. “That’s what gets me working on a piece.” -Kathy

16. “Nature.” -Patricia

17. “The project itself.” – Cayce

As you can see, every artist works so differently. There’s never a right or wrong way of working so be open to the possibilities and just be yourself. You’ll eventually get into your groove and choosing paint colors for your project will start coming naturally to you.

We want to know! Is hearing from real artists like this helpful for you? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

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