Colors Are Your Friends or let’s talk a bit of “my” Color Theory I

What I hear most often about my work…and sometimes I am not sure if it is meant as a compliment- hahahaha- is that my color combinations strike as unusual. Sometimes I get asked how I thought of putting those colors together. Truth is…I do not think that much about it anymore…but …I came a long way experimenting and trying things 😉 So I thought I would share with you my philosophy of colors in a couple blog posts and also refresh some color theory stuff.

My philosophy which I often share in my classes is:

If you want to work with paint media- wether it be acrylic paints or others – you have to treat colors as if they are your friends. They have different personalities and there is a different time and a different place where you want to spent time with a certain friend. I could also say – Colors are LIKE my friends, but hey…I don’t want to start explaining which friend of mine reminds me of which color- LOL. I wanna keep my friends 😉

So before I go into the whole lot of color theory, color wheel and mixing …let’s look at those colors lightly first…let me introduce my friends to you, meaning the colors that I tend to meet often.

Yellow is a pretty new friend of mine, I am still a bit cautious with Yellow…I am never sure where yellow is heading to with my other friends. Yellow is light and a very positive friend. Yellow is kind of extrovert…boy…yellow is really really loud sometimes. Yellow is always intruding but mostly in a happy way. Yellow is my outspoken friend. My friend yellow can be pretty negative too though…sometimes jalous and sometimes a coward.

Here are some samples where I used yellow prominently:

As you can see I use yellow to make statements a lot.

Blue is an old friend of mine. Blue is a bit passive, calming and refreshing. What I like about Blue is, that Blue is open to everything. I like that I can bring blue in with most of my other friends and that Blue is never really overpowering. Blue makes me also sad sometimes…but Blue is a good sport…

Ah Blue….

Red is a handful! Red is so passionate and polarizing. Pretty much a drama queen when with others, sometimes also aggressive. Red is always overpowering, always wants to be in the foreground. Can’t be quiet…can’t be in the background too much. But Red is warm and it is so much fun to be around Red…it is sometimes the life of a party 😉

My first round of friends – more of my close friends will come tomorrow.

What are your favorite colors that you tend to use the most often?



  1. I love pretty much all colors but tend to love the bold ones. Red is definitely one of my favs. :-).

  2. suzannebouchard says:

    I love to use all the colors at once but a combination of blues and greens is a favorite. Thanks for the articles on color.

  3. I am a colorist! I love colors, bright and bold. My favorite combinations are yellow, lime green and pink. Sometimes I swap the lime green and pink for turquoise and/or orange but always keep some yellow. My thoughts are to keep ME happy and full of SUNshine/light. That’s not to say that I don’t use any of the other colors. My latest Art Solo Exhibit was titled Visions of Color at the Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, CT.

  4. Colors personified–love it! Green has been my favorite color since forever! I find myself using every shade of turquoise and orange in the last few months, however. In my art journal I try to vary my starting/background colors; I begin every spread by trying something in a completely different color scheme than the spread before. Yesterday I started a spread with brown and purple. Today, blue and green.

  5. Anne Porretta says:

    Nathalie, I loved this colourful post! In my home, I decorate in shades of pale sanctuary green, I paint in golds, plums, aquas, and cranberry reds, and quilt in all the colours of fall. It’s a complex way of loving all the colours of the rainbow. (By the way, I love the posts in German–it’s fun seeing how much I can figure out after so many years!)

  6. Thanks for your thoughts on color. I love the yellow, turquoise, and orange layout!!

  7. I love the blues, turquoises and earth colors.

  8. Sue Clarke says:

    Blue and rust/earth tones are my usual. You may have inspired me to try more though.

  9. pearlmaple says:

    Well done, a great visual explanation of how to make friends with colour

  10. It seems I have colour periods – when I have a brown period every LO seem to have brown and when yellow is the thing, Lo’s turn into yellow. But I think pink, turquoise and yellow are the colours I use the most. I hardly ever use purple.

  11. Das ist wirklich mal interessant. Bis vor 1-2 Jahre habe ich gelb als Farbe gehasst…inzwischen kann ich die beim Werkeln mit Farbe kaum noch wegdenken…und am Liebsten in Kombination mit türkis…aber anderseits nervt es mich auch, dass ich so hingezogen bin zu diesen Farben…ich habe das Gefühl dass alles gleich ausseiht…
    Ich freue mich auf die folgende Runde – Irma

  12. Love to read about your friends ehhh…colors! And your gorgeous work! Must say, the yellow one on top.. wow!!!!
    I love colors, more and more but my all time favourite must be turqoise I think.

  13. Danke für die super genial geschriebene Vorstellung deiner Freunde, ich liebe deine Posts. Und ich habe keine Lieblingsfarben, weil alle Farben auch meine Freunde sind und ich es einfach bunt mag. Liebe Grüße, bin schon gespannt auf die nächste Vorstellungsrunde, Birgit

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