Colour: How to go about it and some of my secrets

For the last month I've received lots of messages regarding my choice in colour. 

Specially because I did a black painting not too long ago, called "Panic" and the use of colour was a bit different to my usual palate.

So here is a little bit about my technique...

In terms of the materials, I use oil, acrylic, watercolour and pastels.

So here is the main technique I use. I mix white oil and acrylic to create shades of the colour I am using mainly in the painting to create the one thing I am after: Contrast.

For the people out there that don't know, Acrylic is water based and oil is, well... Oil. So to combine the two, you need good quality acrylic and even better oil. I use Black and white oil and primary coloured acrylic, so it doesn't get as expensive. Also I buy 500 ml for the ones I know I am going to use a lot, by the way I paint large sizes so how much I spend in paint is important. For me the most critical ones are like blue, red and white. Also Amsterdam has a white painting that is used to combine oil and acrylic, I really like it because it s a bit more liquid than the expert one. 

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Now lets discuss background. Lets have in mind that all I want with the use of colour is to create Contrast. So the background ought to be contrasting with the palate of colours I'll use later. For example: Panic: I always wanted to paint one that'll showcase red and white as the most powerful colours. Strong feelings deserve strong colours. Another examples to think about is a Blue background will play great with yellow and white and so forth.

Master - 160x100 cms

Acrylic, oil and watercolor mix.

This is my construct of the mastery of years, to believe that control is the essence of a life well lived. The use of the cube as the symbol of control and power. 

Then every colour that goes on top has to contrast in one way or another.

The next Tip is very important, when approaching every colour that'll go on top of the background is to test every colour in my "Colour Journal".

These colours are the ones that I used to make Blue

I know it may seem wasteful, but while I am doing this I can keep track of awesome colour mixtures I've done in the past, great combinations, others that are not all that great and so forth... Also it is a great way to keep track of what is happening while the painting is being made and later you can go down memory lane. 

It is usually surprising when the colour you thought turned out different and while trying to make it you discover a whole new colour that you might like it better.

As a finishing touch in most of my paintings I'll draw lines and squares. For me geometry is the expression of control and domesticity. Lines and geometrical shapes are the mathematical ways that we use to represent nature, our way to control and understand it. (By the way if you read This is more than just painting... you'll know I am an Engineer) So for me, lines have to be subtle and an expression of detail and class.I feel I am honouring the feeling by putting my humanity in it that is why I'll make them either white or black. When I make squares, they are usually a showing off of a new technique I discovered or a combination of colour that will stand out in the painting. 

Garden - 120x100 cms

Acrylic and oil combination. 

Where I am emulating the piece and calmness in nature, through the calm of control through geometrical shapes.

So I have tackled colour, if you have new ideas to get better I'd love to know! Please comment bellow with ways you use colour and the experiments you do to get the best out of your paintings!