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Create Mood and Feeling in your Paintings using Colour. Acrylic Painting Tips

Putting your feelings into colour to tell your story. Colour can convey so many things to different people. Which colours make you think about different feelings. What ones speak to you of calmness or happiness, sad etc. What response do you first have to a colour. Understanding your reactions can help you decide on colour schemes for your paintings. If you want to show what you are feeling about a scene, one way you can do it is with colour. 

We have been going to the same beach for a few years now for our summer holiday. I get lots of opportunities to paint the same scene but in lots of different ways. Every morning when I come out of my tent I see the most beautiful sunrises with the sun coming up over the water and bathing the camp in light.

After painting these sunrises a few times in a more realistic colour palette I decided I wanted to put my own spin on them. I wanted to convey the feelings I had about what I was seeing and that holiday state of mind. I felt I wasn't getting that with a more realistic colour scheme. So I thought about how I feel in the morning when I open my tent. That anticipation of a beautiful summer day at the beach, relaxing in the sunshine. Also that energy that comes with the start of a new day.

I decided to do this with colour. A monochrome colour scheme using yellow I felt would do this for me. I love Yellow anyway for me it is a happy colour that can be energising and calming depending on how you use it.

Golden Sunrise  sold

Because I had painted this scene from our camp site several times I could worry less about getting the overall scenery right and get to play more with colours and mood. Which is a good reason to paint the same thing more than once.

My Blog post about using simple photo edits to improve your painting may help you get started on some colour scheme ideas if you are feeling stuck.

An interesting exercise to try is to paint the same scene several times as quick colour studies. use a different colour for each one eg. Try a yellow one, red one, blue one, purple one any colour really you want. Then line them all up and look at them. How does the colour affect the mood of the painting even without changing anything else about it. Try asking some other people what they think when they look at the colours. You may be surprised by some of the answers you get and it is great research for future paintings.


So with my yellow colour scheme I was trying to convey the beautiful glowing colours of the sun raising over the water before anyone else gets up. So peaceful and full of promise for the new day.  This painting " Golden Sunrise" brings back to me all those feelings. Can't wait to go back and find some more wonderful scenes to paint.

How do you use colour to show how you feel about a painting? Let me know if you found this blog helpful I would love to hear your feedback.

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