Which Palette are YOU?

Pastel, Jewel, or Earth
Which Palette are YOU?

We’ve all heard of pastel colors, jewel tones, and earth colors. But what are they ~ really? What makes them what they are? And why should you care?

If you don’t already know which of these 3 palettes is YOU, take a moment to scan the 3 images below.

Which one draws you in?

Which feels most comfortable to you?

Which one IS you?

Is there one you hate?

Jewel Tones Palette ~ Blooming
Jewel Tones Palette ~ Blooming, oil painting & fine art print

Jewel Tones Palette

How do the Jewel tones make you feel?

Jewel tones are pure pigment, or nearly pure pigment. Very saturated colors. Intense.

The colors in this painting; Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Violet, Vermilion, Magenta, Veridian, Cadmium Yellow, Turquoise have been mixed with just enough white to bring the color identity to light.

The dark center of the flowers is Prussian Blue pure pigment. It appears black, but is not. If black were substituted for this color, it would appear lifeless and dead.

for artists

Charvin Jewel Colors
Ruby Red, Rubine Lake, French Red Light, Diamond Orange,
French Yellow Orange, French Yellow, Anise, Meadow Green, Peacock, Emerald, Intense Turquoise, Deep Turquoise, French Cobalt Blue, Deep Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Rembrandt Vermilion, Rembrandt Quinacridone Rose, Sennelier Rose

Pastel Tones Palette ~ Gently Sunset
Pastel Tones Palette ~ Gently Sunset,  oil painting & fine art print

Pastel Palette

Now let’s look at the colors in this pastel palette. How do these colors feel to you?

Pastel tones are the same pure pigments, mixed with white. This dilutes the pigment. The dark in this example is actually Shadow Green. Mixed with Provence Blue, the color beside the full strength Shadow Green feels pastel.

Please note: this is an oil painting, not a pastel painting. My discussion here is about pastel tones, not the medium of pastels.

for artists

Charvin Pastel Colors
Naples Yellow, Incarnat, Celadon Green, Green Gray Light, Water Green, Tropical Green, St Remy Green, Deep Opaline Green, St Remy Blue, Caraibes, Royal Blue, Bright Linen, Leaded Gray

Earth Tones Palette
Earth Tones Palette ~ Winter Marsh,  oil painting & fine art print

Earth Tones Palette

How do Earth Colors make you feel?

Earth colors are created from pigments found in the earth, Carmine, Red Earth, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Siena, Charcoal, Zinc White. These elements are literally dug from the earth and ground up fine like sugar. This granular pigment is then used to create oil paint, acrylics, watercolors and pastels.

for artists

Charvin Earth Colors
Yellow Ochre, Raw Siena, Transparent Yellow Ochre, Pouzzoles Red, Aubere Pink,
Raw Umber,  Savana, Green Shell, Deep Celadon Green

pastel palette
One tray of pastels with a color chart.

Here is a section of my pastel palette with one of my color charts. Which palette would you say this is?

HINT  There may be more than one right answer!

Which Palette are YOU?

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I see y’all are voting heavily for the Jewel Tone Palette! Me too! However, there’s something I’ve discovered about balancing colors that requires all three. In doing my artist residencies in France and Italy, I’ve discovered a Color Fusion Palette that creates harmony.  Here’s an example.

Waking Dreams IV
Waking Dreams IV, oil

Can you see the difference between Waking Dreams IV and Blooming? Waking Dreams incorporates all three palettes. Learn more about my Color Fusion Palette in my Awakening Hearts Series and how you can use it in your home to create wellness, serenity, and vitality.

7 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

Creativity CAN be Nurtured

7 ways to do it

Let your color genie out.

DIY Canvas Decor
Painting with acrylics, paint markers, or oils is fun with this bright Fiesta undertone. The bright Vermilion peeks out from between colors to pop snippets of vibrant energy into your finished painting ~ be sure not to cover it all up!
  1. Use Color Underpainting

This technique is one I’ve used since I first began painting. The colored canvas peeks out between the colors to give vibrancy and a foundation for the finished painting.

DIY Canvas Decor
Joyful Sundown is based on a watercolor painting I made during my Tuscan residency. Try using Lilac Gray for acrylics, oil, paint markers or pastels.

2.  Use Your Heart Colors  

To find out what your heart colors are, begin by selecting your favorite colors. Your heart knows which colors these are. Don’t listen to your head telling you what you SHOULD pick! Listen to your heart!

Hint: Think of grabbing your favorite color blouse so you’ll feel wrapped in fabulous all day. 
Tuscan Sunset
“Tramonto sul Oliveto” (Sunset on the Olive Grove) is the watercolor inspiration for the “Joyful Sundown” DIY CreativSOUP. It is featured in the CreativSOUP Coloring & Creativity Book as well.

3.  Take a Step Back   

As you paint each color, take time to step back and view your piece from across the room. It helps to have your palette set up across the room from your painting. That way you will not forget to walk away and see your painting from a distance!

Find my DIY Tuscan Landscape and Village Wall Art in

Coloring Poster French Landscape
Coloring Poster French Landscape

 CreativSOUP Studio

4.  Take Your Time & Breathe!  

Take a deep breath while you are across the room and feel how the colors are balanced on the canvas. Have a cup of tea and let the colors steep into your psyche. The momentary abandonment of what you thought you were doing will give your Creative Spirit an opening to insert inspiration in your flow.

Hint: This is the MOST IMPORTANT one ~ don’t skip it or save it for later. This one can change everything! Do it now! I spend as much time in the studio looking at my paintings as painting.
Tuscan Village DIY Wall Art
Tuscan Village “Villa Fiore” in Snorkle Blue, Fiesta Red, Lilac Gray, Limpit Shell or Black & White.

5.  Try Transparent Paint or Markers   

You can see in my inspiration painting for Villa Fiore (bottom pic), I used a white background with transparent watercolor. If you are using transparent paint or markers ~ thinly applied watercolors, acrylics, oils or gel pens ~  select one of the drawings on white or light gray paper.

French Village Coloring Canvas
French Village Coloring Canvas

6.  Try Opaque Paint or Markers

If you are using opaque paint or markers ~ heavily applied acrylics, paint markers, oils, pastels ~ try one of the colored canvas with contrasting lines. Imagine how your colors will look with the contrasting color peeking in between them! If you’ve never painted with opaque paint or markers, try it ~ it could change how you see the world!

Tuscan Village DIY Wall Art
Watercolor painting inspiration for “Villa Fiore”

7.  Try one of my DIY Tuscan Landscapes or Villages  

Mix and Match colors, images, and sizes to create your own unique wall art grouping with your own heart colors.

Get my CreativSOUP Adult Coloring & Creativity Book on Amazon.

Pastel Painting Lesson & Osteoporosis

Structure is a hot topic. I had lunch with two friends this week and osteoporosis was a topic of discussion in both conversations. One a writer, the other an artist, we chatted about creating both art and bones.

The Connection Between Art & Healing ~ Osteoporosis

I have been doing a lot of architectural paintings recently. Since my diagnosis of osteopenia in January, I now see the correlation to my attraction to painting buildings. This insight is helping me create a new daily structure of yoga, painting, eating well and enjoying friends. This is a healthier lifestyle than the workaholic one I was living without the support of exercise, friendships and regular meals.

Even my garden paintings are being impacted by this renewed awareness of structure. In the initial block-in, it’s easy to see the bones of this painting. Remember my post about the botanic garden last week? That’s where I first saw these tulips! To draw the tulip garden, I started with a gold ochre pastel on a 24 x 30 Ampersand sanded board.

Since artists are thought to be unstructured, these marks may appear random at first. So I will show you the structure I am using in this sequence, and how it is related to my osteopenia.

Pastel Painting Lesson

How Painting is Helping Rebuild my Skeleton

pastel painting lesson
Block-in on Ampersand sanded board with calligraphic drawing and bold shapes

Drawing is an extension of one’s signature. Everyone writes or signs their own name without thinking, a calligraphic expression of one’s heart. Like my signature, the scribbling calligraphy of my lines creates the specific foundation suitable for my painting.

Think of my canvas as a mirror. As I adjust each color, shape, and intensity, smoothing out or ruffling up ~ the same is happening in my aura reflected in the mirror. Like DNA, the wavelengths of my colors and shapes correspond to my own. I don’t need to see or want to know all the details. See that the colors work together, smooth out the hair, check for something out of whack, a little lip stick and off we go.

Like a prayer, my painting is simply a request for help and guidance. For a split second I let go of my fears and concerns about it turning out well. Yes, I still have them ~ without them I wouldn’t be able to paint!

Drawing is like holding a live wire. I hope you can see and feel the charge of glowing embers in these simple, rudimentary drawings.

pastel painting lesson
Block in warm cool balance show complimentary colors within shadow shapes.

Once I have drawn the image I use broad cool shapes to connect the shadows. The side of the pastel is perfect as a wide brush. You can see the wide triangle of cool shapes anchored along the bottom of the painting, coming up the sides, then slanting toward the center.

The tip of the cool triangle is missing. Instead it forms a V-shape in the center. This shape is open for receiving light from above.

In the second photo, I have added lavender pink to the cool shadow triangle. These pinks are part of the same anchor  triangle. The cool neutral greens and cool pinks are complimentary colors, opposites on the color wheel. Yet together they read as one dynamic cool shadow.

Again the V-shape is still open.

Shoring up the structure, I add a few more bones for the tulips and hyacinths with deep gold ochre calligraphy.  At this stage, I am not thinking about all this structure as I am painting. That would be like focusing on how to create bones when I do my yoga! As I move from one yoga pose to the next, cells in my body are called upon to build strength and bone mass. Painting the shadow structure of the flowers does the same in my painting ~ establishing an hospitable plot for my healing garden.

An Important Note About the Shadow Side

Without the shadow side, the flowers would blow away. Without the dark side of this story (my osteopenia), there would be no story, no painting, no friends to share it with. I shudder to think what would become of me if my bones dissolve!

pastel painting lesson
Block-in #3 shows addition of Highlight shapes and beginnings of integration with shadow shapes.

Integration of Light with Shadow

This third photo shows the highlights. Using a cool Nickel Yellow, I broadly stroke light shapes around the top of the triangle. You can see I have filled out the shadow with a few more cooler greens near the top of the triangle.

Notice how the light shapes begin to go in between some of the shadow shapes. And some of the shadow shapes reach up a bit to help define light areas. Without light, there is no color. It’s all shades of gray or pure intense pigment. I do not use black paint. White paint is only used when tinted with color. And with pastel, most of the color mixing is done on the painting itself.

Heart is the Healer

Now take a look at the placement of the three hot pink shapes ~ heart centers. These accent the shape of the triangle, tilting it back and open to the light. Seeing them now I realize they are my soul sisters. And the Deep Cadmium Yellow and Dark Gold Ochre calligraphy of the hyacinths brings the eye back down to ground in the lower right corner.

A bridge between earth and heaven, our heart connects us. A human being connects heart and mind day by day, moment by moment. No one stays connected all the time. The heart/mind/body/spirit connection is a pulse. Connect/Release, Connect/Release.

It only takes a split second to let this connection happen. Trying to stop it feels like holding the weight of the world on our shoulders.

What a gift to have this life on earth!

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