The mood of a picture depends very much on the light in the picture and the light depends on the colors used. Your own mood, however, is often not entirely innocent. We often choose colors that are pleasant to us and maybe even convey our own mood . Sometimes we may even need certain color tones when painting because we have special associations or memories or because they are simply good for us at the moment. Blue areas tend to leave us alone because they cautiously go into the distance. With orange-red pictures, the room feels a few degrees warmer.
With special, own color combinations we can very easily express our own style, because the color is the first thing that affects us when we look at a picture.
But the type of paint application also influences the mood in the picture. Are the colored areas rather sharply delimited from each other or are they misty and soft? Are the colors very opaque or more transparent? And how strong are the contrasts? Little, like in a fog? Or strong, like in glaring sunlight with strong shadows?
At the moment I am experimenting with new lighting situations in my pictures in order to depict interesting moods. Anyone who knows my work knows that I tend to work in intense colors. Nevertheless, I once dared an experiment and worked with colors that were strange to me. But more on that later.
In this picture with a bitumen fill, I used naturalistic colors that are classic for a sea picture and have a rather cool color tone. The picture looks fresh and just as you would imagine in clear weather by the sea. The light-dark contrasts create tension, but otherwise the design is unspectacular.
The mood is a little different in this example. Here, too, the colors are not expressively alienated. By using cloudy and pure colors, the atmosphere is a little more differentiated. The sky is worked in cloudy blue-gray and looks foggy and diffuse. The foreground is more intensely colored and therefore stands out more. The special focus, however, is on the horizon, which is given special attention through the use of fluorescent yellow, orange and pink tones. The yellow accents also look like they are being lit by the sun. This is how it could look on a hot, hazy, humid day when the sun’s rays push their way through the cloud cover in a few places.
In order to create an evening mood and at the same time to focus on the sky, in this picture I have resorted to warmer and yet bright colors, which I have distorted in many layers of cloudy over the sky. Due to the pink-yellow part, the clouds shine very intensely and this special mood is reflected in the colors of the horizon.
Here is my experiment: Did you think this picture was not from me? I definitely felt the same way when I painted it. 😉The colors are not exactly typical for me, but I still wanted to demonstrate to you what the effect of such a color scheme is. It took a bit of effort, I’ll admit it. Only the contrast between the light, fresh light blue and the cloudy gray-beige tones I couldn’t help but breathe at least some tension and life into the picture. The picture would have looked even more diffuse and foggy if I hadn’t set the Payne’s gray accents on the horizon. This is how I imagine a cloudy wintry day at the sea.
My favorite with a spectacular mood is this picture. In terms of color, it totally suits me and I love this mood and radiance that seems to glow from within. The warm colors are sometimes purer, sometimes broken and are enhanced with cool yellow. I achieved the luminosity through thinly glazed layers with neon pink and neon orange. Another contrast and focus is the dark area with umber colored ink on the horizon. This is how I imagine a sun-drenched landscape in the south.
How about working consciously with different moods in the picture? It’s very easy: for example, intensify the light and dark areas in the image. In this way, the contrast diverges more strongly and it looks like light reflections next to shadow areas. If you now color the light areas with different yellow or warm colors and the shade tones are not black or gray, for example, but purple or in cooler colors, then you increase the mood. You would also have an increase through the complementary contrast and through the yellow tone a beautiful light. Also try setting the light tones a few tones lighter and using cooler and warmer light colors. You can detach yourself from the naturalistic depiction and experiment with the color tones, regardless of whether you are working in an objective or abstract way. You will see, your pictures become livelier and more expressive.
Have fun with all experiments, let the color flow