Choosing a Color Pallette for Distinction

Warm Rose

I have a very distinctive color palette in my paintings. I am drawn to warm colors including golds, russets, oranges and rosy/peachy browns. Many of my paintings include the reddish-brown brickwork that is common in buildings and sidewalks. Also, my favorite season is Autumn with all of its golden splendor and I often choose to paint tree foliage that is trending towards the warm colors of October and November. Being a redhead, I also have a closet that consists mostly of warmer colors.


I recently did that thing online where you can have your Instagram color palette evaluated. I used the app called ColorKuler. The results will give an overall color palette based on all of your Instagram posts. As expected, my color palette consisted of warm browns, yellows and rosy/peachy colors.

Why would this be important? The overall color palette of your art, whether it is painting, illustrating, jewelry, pottery, fiber art etc., gives a cohesive look to an artist’s work. Often, an artist can be identified based on the colors that are consistently present in their creative endeavors. Colors also have a tendency to evoke emotions. Warm colors are more associated with excitement and optimism whereas cool colors such as blues and greens have calming qualities.


I also tend to prefer to paint scenes bathed in sunlight. The warm light from the sun provides opportunities to add a glow to your paintings. Two of my favorite watercolor painters are John Salminen and

Thomas W. Schaller. They masterfully use warm colors with touches of blues and greens to create beautiful cityscape art. John Salminen creates areas of great detail in his painting using closely related dark middle values to make order out of chaos while Thomas Schaller uses a looser style to evoke high drama in his watercolor paintings. I have taken two of John’s watercolor workshops and would highly recommend them to anyone interested in learning some of his techniques.


I have added some images from John Salminen’s and Thomas W. Schaller’s portfolios as examples of their painting styles as well as a painting of mine which demonstrates my preferred color palette and my ColorKuler results.


John Salminen Watercolor Painting



Thomas W Schaller Watercolor Painting


My Instagram color pallette by ColorKuler


A Rosy Brown Pallette in my Charleston painting