I spoke of this once before on my Facebook page, Blue Sky Red Earth Gallery, but a few months later I was surprised when the curator of one of my physical galleries mentioned that I needed to be aware of the buyer's colour scheme. Taste and fashion is constantly changing and people who invest in Art usually consider it a lifetime purchase so I think this is valid feedback.
To some extent if you're creating natural landscapes, tonal still life and portraiture, you are fairly safe. You can be sure that if you stay with neutrals buyers are more likely to think it will fit in their home. Soft pastels work as long as the palette is very gently coloured and not too girly. Bold Black, Umber and Cream work well but what if you have a hankering for pushing colour or creating Abstract Art?
Certainly contemporary, brightly coloured work sells well in a modern city environment, but if you're an Artist living on the prairie it's difficult to find and service such a Gallery. Flowers may provide some bright relief to your painting day and for some reason people overcome their fear of colour when purchasing them. But you will probably get tired of painting flowers and there is so much competition from toddlers up to 99 year old grannies painting in their garden.
So I suggest you experiment with splashes of those bright colours you love. A dash of Cadmium Red, Manganese Blue, Lime Green, Cadmium Yellow or Titanium White will perk up an otherwise dull neutral palette and still be saleable to the buying public. Colour can be hidden in shadow and it's presence will make your painting stand out even though the buyer won't exactly know why they like it. Irridescense is neutral but rich and unique and using it in paintings certainly gives them pop.
If you are very accurate with your colour values you can often get away with quite a colourful palette and no one questions why leaves are bright blue and tree trunks are purple so don't be too concerned. As you continue on your painting journey and people start to collect you as a brand it will become less and less important to listen to the nay sayers.
And most of all don't be afraid of colour. If you really want to produce bright paintings take a look at Interior Design websites and magazines or wander around furniture stores and try to identify the upcoming trends. As long as you produce work that is on target for that season and exhibit in many shows and exhibitions each year you will have enough turnover to keep prevent last year's colour scheme sitting under your bed collecting dust.
Sea Dean is a daily painter who exhibits and auctions her work at Daily Paintworks
Sea is also an Art instructor author and genealogist. Sea's brightly coloured works hang in collections and exhibitions around the world.
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