Bright and Bold

I love colors. I’ve always loved colors. As I was growing up, I couldn’t draw or paint, but I had color sense, as I called it. The actual term is color acuity. Just for fun, you can get an idea of your ability to see colors here:

Munsell Hue Test

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while probably know the story of how I found myself learning to draw and paint. It began with colors, or, more to the point, with a coloring book. When grown-up coloring books first came along, I quickly ordered one. That led me to Prismacolor Premier pencils, I fell in love, and I bought a complete set. My decision to draw came about as a way to justify owning such beautiful, artist-quality colored pencils.

The odd thing, though, is that in my art, I rarely use a lot of colors. I love the black, white, and grays of graphite and charcoal drawing. Even in landscape painting, I prefer muted colors and limited palettes.

Oh, but then there’s abstract art and there’s playtime. I can have so much fun mixing and swirling colors when I’m not thinking about anything other than creating something pleasing to my eye. That’s when I bring out the bright, bold colors.

I was especially pleased by this recent painting:

Random Art
Playtime 1 by Judith Lynne Kraus

I’m calling the painting Playtime 1 because I want to do more of these fanciful swirls of colors. This abstract was done in acrylics on one of my small 5 x 7 practice canvas panels.

Over the next few weeks, I want to step away from representational painting now and then and just indulge myself in bright, bold colors. I want to splash, splatter, and pour my paints, letting them form their own shapes and designs.

I want to try out all of those different tools of the trade I wrote about yesterday, and even more, I want to play with different tricks of the trade. I’ve heard about using ink and bleach, I certainly want to try acrylic pouring, and I want to try combining oil painting and wax using both encaustic hot wax techniques and cold wax methods.

Some people might advise me to stay where I am on my pathway, to learn my craft and improve my skills before trying new things. Pshaw! What fun is that? I think I might actually learn a lot more by giving free rein to my imagination and letting the mad scientist part of my brain come out to play. I’ll just be sure to hide the salt shakers.

Black Divider 1While browsing through my Word Press Reader earlier this morning, I came across an interesting post about Munsell on the In Bed with Mona Lisa blog. To learn more about the man and his ideas on color, check it out!

Munsell Chips, Anyone?


  1. Go play with your paints, Judith! Thanks for this most interesting post! Some artists are so fascinated with color theory that in their art pursuits will spend time on color charts. It has paid off to a degree for me to do color studies because it has given me more freedom in using greens in landscapes or blues in seascapes, as an example. Learning from Munsell’s interest in colors can be applied to our own painting with limited or full palettes of paint colors that will ultimately help us to be better artists. I suggest that when playing with paints that you remember to keep a notebook and/or color charts of the color mixing and techniques you use that may have good future use. Have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. Another thing I’m doing is working with various color schemes. Earlier today I started a winter scene using blue, blue-violet, and violet colors, mixed with titanium white and touches of Payne’s gray here and there. I’m painting on a canvas that I had previously toned with a pale lavender acrylic, and so far I’m enjoying the colors. I played around with another abstract canvas earlier, too, and I’m looking for lots of fun ways to do different things. It’s a good way to learn. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That is the most common compliment I get on my art is that I really have an eye for color, so I think I tend to recognize that in other artists too. Love the painting you shared. Very relaxing and airy.

    Liked by 1 person

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