Colour Moods

I love colour, most of all when a group of colours work together to create a certain mood or ambience. Sometimes I need a colour palette that jumps boldly out and says “Look at me … I am fabulous!” Other times I need a colour palette that is less demanding, but still appealing, interesting and mood setting. How do I go about creating colour palettes for different needs?

Colour palette inspiration is all around us; we just need to look at our environment – both natural and man-made to find beautiful colour combinations that we can utilise for different themes or purposes.  There are times for “look at me” colour palettes, and times for something less bravado.

Today I’m focusing on a subtle colour palette; one that can evoke a sense of sophistication and serenity. I don’t want “boring” but I do want “ethereal”, “calmness” and “cohesiveness”. I call this a “soft palette”. The images below display a broad range of hues, but a delicate range of tones.  They are drawn from a range of sources.

Artichoke palette

Artichoke palette

Beautiful geometry

Beautiful geometry

Eggs in nest

Eggs in nest

Eucalyptus leaves

Eucalyptus leaves

Faded colours

Faded colours

Fungi

Fungi

Glazed hues

Glazed hues

Ibaraki ceramics

Ibaraki ceramics

Tray of jasper trials, ca. 1773-76, from Josiah Wedgwood's manufacture.

Tray of jasper trials, ca. 1773-76, from Josiah Wedgwood’s manufacture.

Rusty stuff

Rusty stuff

Sea Glass

Sea Glass

Soft texture

Soft texture

Sunlit Poppies

Sunlit Poppies

Tea Rose sketch and palette

Tea Rose sketch and palette

Teabag bundles

Teabag bundles

Soft colours

Soft colours

Vintage gas cans

Vintage gas cans

All images via

Contrast or harmony?

Here’s a collection of images that can be viewed in the context of contrast or harmony.

Not everyone will agree on which of these images could be categorised as contrast or as harmony (or both), and that’s the wonderful thing about imagery – it’s so individual. Most of us will perceive and interpret images based on our personal experiences, situation, mood or circumstances. Some of you will be analytical about your categorisation, most will react spontaneously and intuitively.

Look at these images and once you’ve made a choice, try to define what the elements are that helped you to decide if the image represents contrast or harmony, or if  (and how) it can be described as both.

Images are a good way to promote discussion in a learning environment. No one sees exactly in the same way – looking, re-acting and then analysing images allows us to ‘see’ through other people’s eyes and to learn about each other’s sense of perception. Initial reactions are a start, but when you take the time to think more deeply about what an image ‘says’ to you, a new level of understanding will emerge.

As an artist, the images I have chosen have an artistic appeal to me in relation to colour, space, design and form. As an educator, you could choose any range of images to promote specific discussion related to your area of expertise.

MARIMEKKO patterned hat spring 2013felixinclusis.tumblr.com

MARIMEKKO patterned hat spring 2013
felixinclusis.tumblr.com

Face design images.search.yahoo.com

Face design: images.search.yahoo.com

Boy and water liliessaffron-spice.tumblr.com

Boy and water lilies
saffron-spice.tumblr.com

Red and Paristumblr.com

Red and Paris
tumblr.com

Super dads3-ec.buzzfed.com

Super dad
s3-ec.buzzfed.com

Pink Orange Blue

Pink Orange Blue

Victor Vasarely

Victor Vasarely

Surma Man, Ethiopia news.nationalgeographic.com

Surma Man, Ethiopia
news.nationalgeographic.com

George Harrison & Bob Dylanrockimages.centerblog.net

George Harrison & Bob Dylan
rockimages.centerblog.net

Black and Whiteelledecor.com

Black and White
elledecor.com

Village WindowPhotos by Tony Kearney on Flickr

Village Window
Photos by Tony Kearney on Flickr

Twigs Sculpturearthouse.oulu.net

Twigs Sculpture
arthouse.oulu.net

Spiral stairways3.amazonaws.com

Spiral stairway
s3.amazonaws.com

Organic highwaydesignboom.com

Organic highway
designboom.com

Blendingaquieterstorm.tumblr.com

Blending
aquieterstorm.tumblr.com

People and their shadowsffffound.com

People and their shadows
ffffound.com

Faceonbluepoolroad.com

Face
onbluepoolroad.com

google.co.uk

google.co.uk

Bror Johanssonvickyveiled.tumblr.com

Bror Johansson
vickyveiled.tumblr.com

Generationsconfessionsofapropjunkie.com

Generations
confessionsofapropjunkie.com

Friendsmedia-cache6.pinterest.com

Friends
media-cache6.pinterest.com

Bridgetumblr.com

Bridge
tumblr.com

prickly pear frozen margaritacupcakesforbreakfast.com

prickly pear frozen margarita
cupcakesforbreakfast.com

Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysalfbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net

Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal
fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net

a moment. a shiftmedia-cache6.pinterest.com

a moment. a shift
media-cache6.pinterest.com

Jonathan Delafield Cook ’s drawing “Bird’s Nest, 1998”

Jonathan Delafield Cook ’s drawing “Bird’s Nest, 1998”

natcaronphotography.com

natcaronphotography.com

Orange Blueaquieterstorm.tumblr.com

Orange Blue
aquieterstorm.tumblr.com

Explosion of colorsdesert-dreamer.tumblr.com

Explosion of colors
desert-dreamer.tumblr.com

White Center.  Mark Rothko

White Center. Mark Rothko

The forms are similar, the patterns contrast, by Kelly Jean Ohlartfulhome.com

The forms are similar, the patterns contrast, by Kelly Jean Ohl
artfulhome.com

White Birchjeffreymurray.photoshelter.com

White Birch
jeffreymurray.photoshelter.com

San Josemaría Escrivá Church by Javier Sordo Madaleno Bringas

San Josemaría Escrivá Church by Javier Sordo Madaleno Bringas

Purple yellowmoonlightrainbow.tumblr.com

Purple yellow
moonlightrainbow.tumblr.com

njoi.tumblr.com

njoi.tumblr.com

H. Palleiko Designsfrom Flickr

H. Palleiko Designs
from Flickr

Botrylloides magnicoecumflickr.com

Botrylloides magnicoecum
flickr.com

Giuseppe Guadagnoartpropelled.tumblr.com

Giuseppe Guadagno
artpropelled.tumblr.com

Contrast or harmonystylelik.eu

Contrast or harmony
stylelik.eu

gorgeousouboosandshoes.blogspot.com

gorgeous
ouboosandshoes.blogspot.com

all images via