10 Free Color Palettes From 10 Famous Paintings

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Color palettes are the colors chosen by an artist while making an art piece or a painting. Great artists are the true masters who, with their keen knowledge of colors, create masterpieces that stand the test of time. The artistic pieces they create are truly spectacular which encourages the onlooker to pause for a while, and appreciate the breathtaking mixture of colors that went on to make the paintings majestic.

There are thousands of artists in the world, with a countless number of great paintings or art pieces. Here are a few tips that will help you to understand color palettes, while viewing the following ten paintings created by world renowned artists. If you want to view the true color palettes of these paintings, open using the Adobe Color CC Swatch, and drop them into the Photoshop. 

Starry Night

Starry Nights is a painting by a Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, created in 1889. The painting depicts the inner expression of the painter towards nature. With sweeping strokes, the Van Gogh has united the tumultuous sky with the peace and solitude of the village below. The church spire seems to have been taken from his native land, the Netherlands. The painting is supposed to depict the scene as viewed from his asylum window in France. Although Van Gogh had some issues, cutting off his left ear and giving it to a prostitute; as a painter his sense of color was intense and bold, coupled with warm tones given to the stars in Starry Night.

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is the most famous artwork by Leonardo Da Vinci, painted around 1506 in Florence. His paintings have been known for their soft and gentle lighting. This particular piece has been painted using two methods -Stumato and Chiaroscuro. Stumato is a painting technique where translucent layers of paint are blended and subtly applied to render a smoky effect. The contrasting light and dark colors, giving a depth to the painting, is the Chiaroscuro method. This effect was applied around the hands and eyes of Mona Lisa. The rich and dark color palette creates an elegant and sophisticated look. The enigmatic smile of Mona Lisa has been speculated upon for centuries. The distinctive feature of this painting is its small size as compared to other great works in the Louvre.

Last Supper

The Last Supper is a piece of art by an Italian Renaissance painter named Tintoretto, made in the late 1500s. He painted the Last Supper many times, but the one painted with figures seated at the table from a frontal perspective is unparalleled. Tintoretto used intense colors with unique illusions of light, portraying beautiful scenes with a clear perspective. In this painting, the light seems to come from the ceiling and also from Jesus’ aureola, with angels hovering above.

The Scream

The Scream is a part of a series of expressionist paintings painted by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch at the beginning of the 1900s. It has a haunted theme, featuring a figure seemingly in agony against a sky painted with bold hues of orange and gold. It looks like a disorganized image over a soothing palette. An interesting feature of this painting is that it was stolen twice, but was later brought back with just a few blemishes. Though the painting looked quite delicate, it has survived all attempts at  robbery. The painter went forward and described his painting as ‘an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa of our time.’

The Optometrist

This is a painting by an American artist Norman Rockwell, depicting an insight into a scene of daily life. In all his paintings, he portrays the everyday life of Americans and by doing so, has captured the minds of millions of people. The color palettes of ‘The Optometrist’, as well as his other works, have always been original yet fascinating, giving the look of a story being told a long time ago.

The Kiss

The golden color palette is the first thing you see when viewing the iconic painting ‘The Kiss’ by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. Along with layers of gold leafing skillfully applied, earthy colors have been used, thus giving a brilliant look and effect. Two lovers have been shown in a passionate embrace, infusing the right emotion to the subject has made this painting a masterpiece.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

This is actually a woodblock print made by Japanese artist Hokushai, sometime in the mid-1800s. The image depicted is an enormous wave, which is a threat to the boats on the coast of Kanagawa, Japan. Although some see it as a tsunami, it actually shows Mount Fuji and other mountains in the background. Also known as ‘The Great Wave’, it is the best Japanese artwork to date. The flow of colors respects the natural symmetry and also the shape of the wave against a background of the mountain.

The Persistence of Memory

This painting by Spanish artist Salvador Dali, created in 1931, is described as a hand painted photograph of soft watches or melting watches. He was an enigmatic artist known for his weird subject matters. The meaning behind The Persistence of Memory cannot be grasped easily, as the painting shows four clocks bent out of shape and displayed over a desert scene, appearing to be melting in the heat. Dali was a surrealist artist with unexpected art pieces that pose many questions. However, if you see the painting as a whole, the color palettes of orange and blue contrast with a landscape that is full of shadows, portraying the relativity between time and space.

Water Lilies

Water Lilies, a painting by French impressionist artist Monet, is not a single but a collection of 250 paintings. He was inspired by the water lily pond at his home in Giverny, in Paris. The changing light patterns on the water in the pond was the inspiring feature, as he wanted to capture the perfect setting between light and dark. This prompted him to work on several canvases simultaneously. His paintings were not appreciated in his lifetime, but later critics found Abstract Expressionism in his paintings. The art movement in the 19th century was featured with thin strokes, as that period saw the advent of synthetic colors and varnishes that were used to tone down the effect of bright colors. As a result, the idea of bright and vibrant colors came to the fore.

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

This largest painting called La Grand Jatte is George Seurat’s best work, depicting people relaxing on the banks of  the River Seine. This painting evinces the use of contemporary colors with small horizontal strokes. He used the scientific technique called Pointillism that distinguished his art from the paintings made by Impressionists. This technique uses innumerable tiny dots of one color that form a coherent image if seen from a distance. Seurat, being a pro in colors, made this painting with an impressive color palette. His subject matter was modern, as he wanted normal people moving around as they do in ordinary life. His main aim was to put them on canvas, using pleasant and harmonious colors.

Brilliant artists across the world, from Monet to Van Gogh, have inspired and enchanted us with their extraordinary pieces of art, filled with emotions and beauty. The strokes and swirling patterns of vibrant colors and palettes have been a source of inspiration for generations. If you want more information on color palettes, browse freelancer where you can find experts with knowledge of impressive color palettes.

What do you think of the color palettes of these 10 famous paintings?  Do you have anything to share with us? We would love to read your comments! Tell us your thoughts, and share this article with your friends.

Postado 12 setembro, 2017


Designer // Writer // Creative

Tom is a Design Correspondent for Freelancer.com. He is currently based in Melbourne and spends most of his non-work moments trying to find the best coffee.

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