Uncategorized April 30, 2022

How an Artist Chooses Paint Colors


Today I’d like to share how to choose a paint color for your room.  I’ve been an artist all my life working in oil, plein-air, collage, mixed media and so forth.  I’ve studied how to reflect true natural light into a painting, something Impressionists are known for.  This is how I choose paint for my own place ~ ~

There are (a) paint decks and other paint manufacturers use

(b) individual sample squares.

Paint decks and Individual Sample Cards 

If you are using a paint deck, whichever color you think might be a nice selection – choose the strip and go to the bottom, the most saturated version of the color.  The most saturated color is a true measure of the colors further up the light scale.  For example, you like a certain yellow – it’s gorgeous – but you look down to the most saturated version and it’s actually a mustard yellow.  It doesn’t look it – but if you pick the lighter version of that mustard yellow, you’ll always notice a very vague “something” of green.  It may be in the light, or when the sun sets but you’ll notice.  Choose several different color options – ie, several yellows

Prepare Your Color Selections

So what do you do now?  Step 1. Once you’ve beaten down the color saturation angle, get a small sample can of your colors.  2. Buy Butcher Block paper or get Palette Paper from a Paint or Hobby store.  3. Buy a small tube of white primer and a smaller paint brush – 1” +   4. Cut the palette paper into squares and prime them (don’t worry about the edges.  It’s not important)  5. When the primer is dry, apply each color over the primer on each different square.  Dry.

How to Select

At first you’re going to say “of course.”  But wait ~  1.  Take your various color options and tape them next to each other on a wall that gets a lot of natural sunlight.  Ponder for day or so.  2. Eliminate if you want.  3.  Tape your colors to a wall that get no sunlight and finally (eliminate) and then try it with lights on in the evening.

Voila ~~ selection made

A note regarding individual Sample Squares – they’re pretty accurate.  Start at “Prepare Your Color Selections.”

I hope this eases the paint color challenge.  You’ll be confident enough to eliminate the interior designer who has a limited amount of “favorite” colors she picked up from some other person – and from another person, and on down the line.  You’ll save a lot of money eliminating a middle man.

Here’s another story about interior designers selecting colors.  My friend wanted her living room walls a shade of blue.  The interior designer talked her into a Everyone-Uses-“Neutral.”  My friend followed her advice and was always sorry.  People say neutral because they have no idea how to select color.  Think about it – it’s so logical you know it’s true.  It’s even translated into the thing to do in this decade – because no one knows how to pick colors, right?

Here’s another idea, story ~  living in Manhattan, people do use color because they study Interior Design with an eye toward Architectural Timelines, Interior Periods in history, Historical Textile periods.  It’s Manhattan, what can I say.  We decided we wanted a saturated blue for a bedroom.  Coming from a family who owned and managed their own property, we had tons of resources so we chose an artist who was a painter to make money to support his family.  H