Meanings Of Color

The meanings of color, for painting artwork, is often used to define the expressive mood of an artist’s thought. It applies to any form of painting work, be it for oil painting, watercolor, pastel color, wall decor, etc; using it to symbolize or as an influence to one’s emotion. A good understanding of color and its meaning, will provide an advantage to artists who try to verbalize a message by visual language. Likewise, a viewer will also has a better understanding and appreciation of an artist’s work.

Cultural difference between the Western or Chinese paintings may, however, convey a different meanings of color. One of the commonly used color, such as red color, maybe use to express anger or warmth. On the contrary , the Chinese paintings has a different interpretation on its significance; red color is use to express luck and prosperity.

Below listed some of the basic colors describing the meanings.

  • BLUE: peace, professionalism, youth, truth, loyalty, reliability, peace, honor, melancholia, boredom, coldness, Winter, depth, stability, professionalism, honor, trust
  • YELLOW: attention-grabbing, wisdom, comfort, liveliness, cowardliness, hunger, optimism, overwhelm, joy, Summer, comfort, liveliness, intellect, happiness, energy
  • PURPLE: power, royalty, nobility, elegance, sophistication, artificial, luxury, mystery, royalty, elegance, magic, lavender
  • RED: warmth, love, anger, danger, confidence, courage, excitement, speed, strength, determination, desire, courage
  • BROWN: relaxing, confident, casual, reassuring, nature, earthy, solid, reliable, genuine, Autumn, endurance
  • GREEN: durability, life, fertility, reliability, environmental, luxurious, optimism, well-being, nature, calm, relaxation, Spring, safety, honesty, optimism, harmony, freshness
  • GRAY: conservatism, traditionalism, intelligence, serious, dull, uninteresting
  • ORANGE: cheerfulness, low cost, affordability, enthusiasm, stimulation, vitality with endurance, creativity
    BLACK: Elegance, sophistication, formality, power, strength, illegality, depression, morbidity, night
  • WHITE: Cleanliness, purity, newness, virginity, peace, innocence, simplicity, sterility, snow

The Technical Rules of Painting in Oil, Alla Prima

There are two ways of approaching your painting. The first is known as ‘alla prima’ or direct painting, when the canvas is completed in one session. The second technique is slower because each layer must be dry before the next coat is applied. This means a drying time of several days or more. Famous impressionist artist, Claude Monet, was essentially an ‘alla prima’ painter, but if the composition was not satisfactory he would bring the canvas back to the studio and continue working.

Familiarize yourself with the palette by mixing the colors together. Begin by making up as many greens as you can from the two blues and two yellows. Then dull down each mixed green by adding small amounts of the two reds, and watch the results carefully.

There are a number of important factors to observe when using oils, which are outlined below alongside some handy hints.

1. When squeezed from the tube, oil colors are too thick for the first layer of painting (the ‘lay-in’), so it is necessary to this them with turpentine. It is a good idea to buy a double dipper to attach to your palette.

2. The rule of painting in oil is ‘fat over lean’. The first layers of your pictures should be thinned with a little turpentine, this w ill allow the color to dry more quickly.

3. As you build up your layers the paint film can be thicker, and the medium can be added to help manipulate the colors.

4. Thin colors dry quicker that ‘fat’ colors, which contain more oil. It is important that the paint films gradually thicken towards the upper layer.

5. whether you choose the ‘alla prima’ method or wait for each layer to dry, it is important not to cover a tacky surface with new paint – the surface must either be completely fresh or completely dry. Painting over a tacky surface will result in cracking.

What is a double dipper for oil painting accessories?
It is two small containers jointed together, that is able to clip on to the edge of color palette. One is to contain pure turpentine to dilute the first layers whilst the other has an equal quality of linseed oil and turpentine, linseed oil by itself makes the paint too greasy; too much turpentine creates a matt effect.

How To Choose The Right Size For Oil Painting

An oil painting artwork to produce the ‘wow’ effect within enclosed premises. It should make the painting say more or express a different feeling, then merely looking at the real print or photograph. Being said this much, the choice of size doesn’t mean that the bigger is better. Here, I have pointed out some guides to select the right size :-

  1. Format of the oil paintings to narrow a focused the subject in a composition. The choice is whether a vertical portrait or a horizontal landscape format fits better. One can visualize a single figure in the portrait doesn’t favorably fit into a horizontal landscape format, the focus subject may, however, distracted by the excess of ‘emptiness’ on both side.
  2. The size and shape of the wall that you will hang your oil paintings. Vertically tall and narrow wall doesn’t blend so well with a oil painting that is in landscape format. And for a large elongated wall, a larger piece of art is therefore, necessary to avoid looking like a postage stamp on the wall.
  3. Visibility of portrait oil paintings within enclosed premises. The further the painting frame that you are going to view, the bigger the size is required for better visibility. Small art portrait will only ‘lost’ in a large room.
  4. Size of your furniture over which your portrait oil painting will be displayed. Ideally for portrait format, the width is half the measurement of the furniture below, such as a couch or a king size bed. Or if your chosen oil painting is in landscape form, the requirement will be three-quarter of the width of your furniture below.

One of the most practical way to visualise the appropriate canvas dimension is to use brown paper or old news paper; measure and cut it into the right canvas size, use double sided adhesive tape, and paste it on the wall you want it to hang. Now, walk backwards till you can see the entier room from left to right. If nothing seem to be noticeable, it simply tells that the simulated ‘painting’ size has unsignaficantly change the entire room.