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Everything about colour : What is colour? How to make different shades using primary colours?

Even if you have never painted, or experimented with colours, there’s no denying the fact that how important colours are in our everyday life. Like I said earlier, that humans are visual beings and we experience the world through our eyes for major part.

No matter what you are – an artist, an interior designer, a marketing professional, you can’t do away with colour.

So in this quintessential guide, I will answer some of the most important questions surrounding colour. For example – what is colour, how important is colour, and how to make various colour shades using just primary colours – purple, orange, lavender, peach, etc.

What is colour in simple words?

Depending on which background you are from, you can define colour in myraid ways. If you are a scientist, you may define it as the perception created in our eyes due to the light reflected by any object. But as artists, you just need to know this: every colour is created using 3 primary colours. In the physical world, these colours are created using pigments. So the basic primary colours in this case woudl be – red, blue, and yellow.

And to define any colour, we need 3 attributes:

  • Hue : All the colours you buy from your local art supply store, falls under a basic hue of red, blue, yellow, green, purple, etc.
  • Saturation : This denotes the intensity of the colour present in the mixture. When we paint, we usually add a thinning medium like water or turpentine oil. This basically reduces the amount of colour in the brush stroke and gives us a more pleasant colour. The more thinning medium is added, the lesser its saturation. You can also reduce saturation by adding black or white. But this will lead to a change in value, apart from decrease in saturation.
  • Value : It is the relative lightness or darkness of the colour pigment. By adding white, we get lighter values. By adding black, we get darker values. And when we mix both white and black, it gives out a greyish dull tone. Depending on how much grey is added, the colour changes its value and saturation accordingly.

As you can see, all these 3 attributes are interlinked and are essential in describing and understanding any colour.

Why is understanding colour so important in art?

what is colour
Why is colour so important?

To answer this, you must understand why we create art?

We put in a lot of effort in creating something from our real world. We strive to make it as similar as possible. If you are creating an imaginative artwork, then it becomes even more important that even though the whole composition is not real, the various elements in it are close to reality.

In paintings, we use various elements like lines, shapes, sizes, and textures to create an illusion of reality. But perhaps the most important element among all these is colour. Because it is the first thing out eyes are designed to notice. Not just that, but our brain is wired to percieve certain colours with certain emotions.

This is because when our journey started as hunter gatherers, how did we understand what was going on around us? How did we understand if something was safe to eat or not? Yes, you are right. Its because of noticing colours.

So, we can’t ignore colour in our artworks no matter what.

Not just artists, but everything around us has been designed keeping colour at the forefront. From restaurants, public transport, buildings, homes, etc. everything has used colour to their benefit.

As an artist, you must observe your surroundings and understand what kind of psychological effect a particular colour is having on you.

How does colour influence us?

There are various theories that surround how colour influences us. Including the colour theory, the psychological effects of individual colours. But each of these have their own drawbacks.

For instance, colour theory is no doubt a simple guide to understanding the various relationships between various pigments. It answers ‘how’ to create a particular shade of colour. And how much saturated is the colour, what is the value of that colour. It is a handy tool for artists while creating their artwork. But it doesn’t answer how these colours influence one another when views in isolation or in a composition.

Coming to the psychological effects of colours. Let me first illustrate with a the example of red. Red is said to assicate with passion, energy, dyamism, anger. But did you notice how the same colour can relate to completely different emotions – passion and anger? One emotion evokes a positive response. While the other evokes a negative response. How can a single colour denote so many different things? And if so, how can you as an artist understand what emotion does red evoke in various places and minds?

What is colour affects system?

There is so much confusing regarding colour among artists. And the easiest guide I have found till date is the colour affects system created by someone. It is a simple to follow guide and you can apply to anything – be it a painting, or a movie poster or natural surroundings, or interiors.

Here’s how it goes:

This system entirely depends on the hue, saturation and value (Remember, the 3 most important attributes in every colour?)

And all colours are divided into just 4 groups:

Group 1 : Spring Colours

All colours in this group have low value, has a warm undertone and has very low saturation. Use these colours to convey a feeling of liveliness, childlike, joyful, playful, etc. In nature you can see these colours during spring, hence the name.

what is colour
What is colour : group 1 : Spring Colours

Group 2 : Monsoon Colours

All colours in this group have a lot of grey in them. They are cooler colours with medium saturation. Use these colours to convey a feeling of relaxation, calmness, understatement, gentle, supportive. These colours are ususally seen during monsoon season.

Group 3 : Summer Colours

In summer, we usually are surrounded with fiery colours that have a warm undertone. What do I mean by a warm undertone? Basically, even if you look at blue, it feels energetic. It doesn’t calm you down. These colours are highly saturated and have very low change in value. Use these colours when you want to evoke a sense of dynamism , energetic, popular, offbeat etc.

what is colour
What is Colour : Summer Colours

Group 4 : Winter Colours

These colours are mostly used in branding for premium products. These colours have a cool undertone but contain a pint of black. Ther are also saturated but have a darker value. These colours covey a sense of sophistication, luxury, premium, timlessness, classy, etc.

Using this system, you will not only easily understand colour, but also be able to apply colours efficiently.

How to make various shades of colours?

Now that you have understood how to understand and use colours, its time to actually create colours. And, yes, we will create all the popular colours using just 3 primary colours that you can buy readily at any art store.

Even if you have all the shades, as a beginner artist, try to create colours using just 3 primary colours because this will allow you to grasp colour theory in its entireity.

How to make purple colour from just 3 primary colours?

Blue and red colours give you a wide variety of purples. The kind of purple you create depends on the proportion of red with respect to blue.

How to make orange colour?

Red and yellow, when mixed in equal proportions can give you a beautiful shade of orange

How to make peach colour?

On close observation, you can see that peach primarily has 2 colours – lemon yellow, and pink. Mix yellow and red first to create a saturated pigment of orange. Now add a good amount of white to it and mix it well. At this point, you can add a sliver of green. This will compensate for the green ususally present in lemon yellow. And voila! your peach colour is ready!

How to make lavender colour?

On close observation, you will see that lavender is a pinker and lighter version of purple. So what do you do? We had previously create purple right. To this just add a generous amount of white. And if your proportion of red was lower or equal, then just add a little bit more of red untill theres more red in the pigment than blue.

Conclusion

By the end of this guide, you should successfully be able to understand what is colour, why should you incorporate appropraite colours into whatever you do, and how to understand colour. You also got a fair idea about how to analyse colours and create your own shades of beautiful colours.

Now, as a person who has gained much knowledge in colours, you can utilise colours to the fullest extent and create amazing works of art.

About Kavi Art Studio

Learn what is colour at Kavi Art Studio
At Kavi Art Studio

From the last 16 years, Kavi Art Studio has been independently run by Mrs. Kavitha, a passionate artist who loves teaching. 

​Her childhood hobby to paint at every opportunity, translated into a rewarding profession of inspiring hundreds of students from all over the world to seek solace in art. A versatile artist, she has created numerous handmade paintings in different mediums like tanjore painting, watercolours, oil, madhubani painting, abstract modern painting, etc.

At Kavi Art Studio, you can buy a wide variety of artworks, with any kind of budget. Because we have paintings just from Rs 2000, which would be perfect for gifting or to put on your desk.

You can visit our website for the entire collection and choose something that connects with you.

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Beautiful Handmade Paintings : Your Ultimate Keys to Happiness

From the moment we wake up, we are in an endless quest for happiness.

Scrolling through our phones has almost become like a second nature. Even though it doesn’t add any value and clutters our mind even more. While working endless hours, we plug in some music, or have some coffee. If possible, if we have time at night, we turn on the TV and watch something entertaining.

But did you notice one thing?

How these things make us superficially happy, just for a few moments?

With lockdowns and the uncertainty behind the covid pandemic, we are slowly loosing our minds to mindless banter.

And trust me when I say handmade paintings are your ultimate keys to happiness.

How handmade paintings are linked to happiness?

beautiful handmade paintings make us happy
Beautiful handmade paintings make us happy

Think for a moment. What makes you happy?

London School of Economics professor Richard Layard has outlined these 7 factors as the Big Seven factors of happiness : money, family, career, friends, health, freedom, or personal values.

But aren’t these just momentary joys? You get a new promotion, you’re happy for one week. You freely get to be by yourself in the house, you’re happy as long as you are entertained.

And that’s what lead Richard Layard to conclude with the following fact:

He says that happiness is most easily attained by living in an aesthetically beautiful city.

The magnificent architecture, picturesque sceneries, along with clean environment can positively impact our mental health.

Yes, you’re right if you are thinking, I can’t afford to relocate myself now, especially with all the uncertainty around corona virus pandemic.

What if I told you that handmade paintings are a much more practical and more effective way?

What are handmade paintings, anyway?

Handmade art is any piece of artwork that has been painted using physical colours on a physical medium, by an artist’s own hands without using any external machines or digital technologies. Handmade paintings are very diverse in nature. Some of the types of handmade paintings are as folllows:

  • Tanjore Paintings
  • Oil Paintings
  • Watercolour Paintings
  • Madhubani Folk Art
  • 3D Modern Art
  • Abstract Art
  • Warli Art
  • and several more
3d wall handmade painting
3d wall handmade painting

Why handmade paintings make us happy?

A comprehensive research at 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Our most dominant sense organ is our eyes and we remember images effortlessly. And because of this, what we see has a deep effect in what we do, what we feel and what we are.

In other words, the things people are constantly surrounded by – be it outside their homes like picturesque cityscape, or their living spaces —has the greatest effect on our happiness. It is also the easiest way to be happy.

To illustrate how important art and beauty is, let us imagine a home where only wooden furniture and essential appliances are there. There’s no sense of personality, or feelings associated with anything around. Now how does that make you feel? Office-like? Souless?

It is precisely for this reason that we tend to decorate our homes according to our own personal taste, because our home is an extension of ourselves. And that’s why it feels good to be home, we say, after a tiring work day. But with lockdowns and fear of corona, our home is becoming a dull place where getting distracted by media is becoming the norm for even fleeting joys.

handmade paintings
Handmade paintings teleport us to another world

How handmade paintings benefits us?

But an original painting provides a relief of monotony for our eyes. The spontaneous fusion of colours and textures provides visually stimulates our mind. Even just looking at a painting changes the way we think.

Imagine getting frustrated working on an issue, and finding a beautiful artwork right above your desk. Isn’t that instant relief?

Here are some research backed benefits of viewing art:

  • A research study in Norway, known as the Nord-Trondelag Health Study, has concluded that just viewing art makes us healthier. It also improves the sense of satisfaction with one’s life, and lower rates of anxiety and depression in both men and women.
  • Handmade paintings also improve thinking ability and empathy because it allows us to teleport into another world. Watching art makes us step into the artists shoes and lets us feel what the artist might have felt while creating that particular artwork.
  • Science has shown that viewing beautiful artwork can actually cause you to experience the same physical reactions we get when we fall in love.

Because our eyes are our dominant mode of understanding the world, being surrounded by beautiful paintings on a daily basis works subtly but strongly.

How to choose handmade paintings for your home?

The best part about paintings is that, you don’t have to struggle with finding place in your home unlike other things. You can safely hang paintings on the empty walls of any room you frequently visit.

And don’t worry, you need not be an expert in interior design or get a degree in fine arts to bring home a beautiful piece of art. As long as you have decorated your home as per your own taste, choosing a painting should be a fairly easy be an intimidating task.

Also, if you first want to experiment with artworks before committing to an expensive painting, try buying some smaller art pieces that you can hang by your desk.

For choosing the exact painting, first observe your surroundings. How you have decorated your own home? Watch for specific decor items that you instantly liked and purchased. You may also check out your pinterest feed or instagram feed to figure out what you inherently like. And then you can work out the theme, colour scheme and type of painting you may like.

Here are just a few themes that you may like:

  • wall art based on love or couples for bedroom
  • large canvas paintings for living room.
  • Anything general like flowers or birds or scenaries

If you have anything specific in mind, then you can contact an artist for a custom made piece of work, of your own desired dimensions. It might take longer than buying a ready made piece of art though. But a painting is something that stays for years and decades. And in some cases, it is even passed down to future generations. So, choose your painting wisely, after due diligence.

handmade paintings of Radha Krishna
Handmade Paintings of Radha Krishna

Conclusion

As you have seen in this blog, handmade paintings have a huge impact on how we feel. And they are a subtle but strong impact on our daily mood. Have you decided to get yourself a custom painting, or something that’s already made? Comment Below!

About Kavi Art Studio

handmade paintings at Kavi Art Studio
Handmade Paintings at Kavi Art Studio

From the last 16 years, Kavi Art Studio has been independently run by Mrs. Kavitha, a passionate artist who loves teaching. 

​Her childhood hobby to paint at every opportunity, translated into a rewarding profession of inspiring hundreds of students from all over the world to seek solace in art. A versatile artist, she has created numerous handmade paintings in different mediums like tanjore painting, watercolours, oil, madhubani painting, abstract modern painting, etc.

At Kavi Art Studio, you can buy a wide variety of artworks, with any kind of budget. Because we have paintings just from Rs 2000, which would be perfect for gifting or to put on your desk.

You can visit our website for the entire collection and choose something that connects with you.

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Know the secret behind what is spectacularly unique about every Indian painting

Whenever one thinks of the greatest paintings of all time, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece of Mona Lisa pops into our minds. But did you know that until the 18th century, India was the center of art, architecture and textiles? Our artistic textiles prints were the talk of every town – from America, Japan, China to Europe.

And this was possible because every Indian painting ingrained an ancient principle about aesthetics, which benefits our well being even today.

So what is Indian art? And what is so unique about it? And how can you celebrate it?

Indian Chintz Print on Cloth – history of Indian Paintings

What is Indian art? And what are the types of Indian Paintings?

Traditional Indian paintings cannot be generally understood with a few descriptive words. That’s because paintings of India date back to about 30,000 years, one of the oldest in the world. From cave paintings of Bhimbhetka in Madhya Pradesh, Indian art has flourished and created a mesmerising kaleidoscope that provides a peak into what was going on in ancient India.

Each of the art forms have been influenced by the local geography, mythology, foreign influences, and traditions during various periods. To just give you a glimpse of how varied Indian art is, some examples of types of Indian paintings are as follows:

Mithila painting is known for its line paintings that celebrated Sita and Rama’s wedding during the epic of Ramayana.

Gandhara Art and sculptures which has been inspired by Greek standards of artistic beauty, during the invasion of Alexander the Great .

Numerous tribal paintings in various states of India like Warli, Gond, Bhil, etc.  

Luxurious gold plated paintings of Tanjore and Mysore, after the fall of Vijayanagara Empire.

The sensuous depictions of gods in Kerala Murals in various temples.

The Persian and Mughal influenced Miniature and Rajput paintings.

And the list goes on! To get a complete grasp of the rich variety of Indian art forms, it might a whole lifetime!

What is the history of Indian paintings?

Unique History of Indian Paintings

In India, through millennia, art or kala has been considered as very pure. Detailed procedure has been laid out in some vedic scriptures like Chitra Sutra of Vishnudharmottara Purana. Every step of the process has been detailed in this text and guides Indian artists for creating the best artworks possible, that are not only meaningful, but also impart knowledge to the masses.

According to the Chitra Sutra, the oldest treatise on painting in the world, there are 6 essential characteristics of Indian Art called as Shadanga. These are: rupa bheda (differentiation of forms), pramana (accurate proportions), bhava (expressions and emotions), Lavanya yojanam (graceful composition), Sadrashya (ability to depict to original vision or painting), and Varnikabhanga (artistic knowledge to produce desired effects through use of colour and brush strokes)

Chitrasutra states that:

A painting cleanses and curbs anxiety, augments future good, causes unequalled and pure delight; banishes the evils of bad dreams and pleases the household deity. The place decorated by a picture never looks dull or empty.

As you can see, Indian art was given the highest importance and was promoted widely. Not just as wall paintings, but the floors of the rich homes and palaces were decorated with attractive patterns and designs inlaid with precious stones. Artists created wonderful art works with utmost devotion, meditation and concentration.

The kings and queens of those times allowed all forms of paintings to flourish under their patronage. Artists passed on their knowledge to their next generations. Due to the continuous patronage of art and continual transfer of knowledge from one generation to next, Indian arts evolved and became the epitome of artistic finesse. This is the reason why Indian paintings and textiles were admired all over the world and were much sought after.

Another important point to note was that the arts were mostly created either for pleasure, or for illustrating a mythological story. They were a means to communicate the mythological art history of India to the masses in an easy and effective manner. Unlike the western civilizations, paintings were not created with an intention to sell, or profit from it. And that is also the reason why the original artists of ancient Indian paintings are unheard of. And most paintings like Mithila paintings were not created with the intention of preservation. So most of our paintings have been lost or damaged.

Nevertheless, today we have world renowned famous indian artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Abindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy and several others that have put the spotlight back on Indian paintings.

Beautiful Indian Painting by Raja Ravi Varma

How can you benefit from the beauty of Indian Paintings?

Art has been a symbol of prosperity in ancient days, and was promoted in every way possible.

All the murals in caves, sculptures of temples and paintings of the bygone era have formed an essential link that kept us connected with all of the different cultures that once lived in Bharatvarsha. Chitra sutra rightly illustrates how important remembering this cultural lineage is with these words – “Art is the greatest treasure of mankind, far more valuable than gold or jewels.”

If you are enthralled to be an Indian and want to appreciate Indian Art on a daily basis, you can try out any of the 3 ways. To get the maximum benefit, you can learn some of the folk art forms, for example – madhubani painting, kerala murals, meenakari painting, Tanjore painting, patachitra painting, kalamkari painting, etc.

Or, if you want to embellish your home with beautiful artworks, you can buy paintings. They not only make a statement in every room they are exhibited in, but they also improve the wellbeing of your family. And lastly, if you are the type of person who likes to read a lot, you can gather more knowledge about ancient art history and teach others the importance of Indian Art.

Indian Kalamkari Painting
Indian Kalamkari Painting

Conclusion

No where on the face of earth can you witness such a beautiful intermesh of various types of Indian arts. Being born as an Indian entails that each of us knows and appreciates Indian art. This is how we can keep our history intact and benefit from our rich heritage. And luckily for you, Kavi Art studio is the perfect place to do that! You can find art courses, paintings for sale and art blogs on our site.