Colour Your World With Art


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When you buy art, you may think you not consciously choosing a colour scheme so much as buying something which appeals to your eye. You may prefer certain subjects for your pictures, such as land or seascapes, but certain colours, which do appear in these types of painting do evoke inner feelings and emotions. We know that some colours are calm and restful, some are hot, fiery and emotive.

Apart from colours used in actual artworks, it is easy to change the look of a picture with the window mount or frame used for it's display. Certain colours which may be used to mat a picture with can appear to alter colours used in the execution of a painting. You will not see this unless you actually place different coloured mountboards around a painting. Then you will see how different a painting can look. By selecting the correct colour mount, you can make a good painting look fantastic!

Next time you go out to buy artwork, instead of letting the subject dominate your choice, why not work out what feeling you would like the painting to add to your room. Do you want something to liven you up when you look at it; get the blood pumping, or do you want a picture that brings a sense of calm peace to a room? You can easily use colour to serve these purposes. So, how does different colour affect the senses?

Red - An intense colour, it stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It wakes you up, even agitates you. . . . . . . It is also the color of love.

Pink - Is more tranquilising. Research has suggested that this colour makes people calmer. One prison painted their cells pink and it reduced aggressive behaviour among the inmates.

Orange - The bright, happy, stimulating colour. Also associated with learning, which makes it great for a children's room.

Yellow - The colour associated with brightness and fun, although it is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering. When used in small amounts however, it produces a warm sensation.

Green - The colour which symbolizes nature. Very easy on the eye, green is used in hospitals a lot because it is believed to relax patients.

Blue - The colour of the sky and the ocean; on of the most popular colours. It is thought to cause the opposite reaction to red. Evoking tranquillity blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals. However, too much blue can be cold or depressing.

Purple - A luxurious colour, associated with royalty. Although feminine and romantic, it is a colour rarely seen in nature so can appear artificial.

Brown - The most reliable colour; the colour of earth and which is abundant in nature. The favourite colour of many men, it implies genuineness although this colour can also be sad and wistful.

Black / white - Sleek, stark black and white have to be used with care in order not to look sterile and artificial. Great for bold abstract artworks though.

So, next time you decide to buy artwork for your home or business space, have a think about what feelings or emotions you want to evoke beforehand. Don't simply pick a subject that you are ‘comfortable’ with such as animals, landscape or florals. Be adventurous; chose a different subject or go for evocative abstracts in colours that appeal to your senses.

Gail Miller is a professional artist whose artwork is a visual feast of colour and fun. Her fascination with bold colours and fluid, expressive shapes and line are evident in funky abstracts, sinuous nudes, vibrant still life paintings and lively townscapes. Visit her website at


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