Ever wanted to talk with a professional painter about their creative process? My dear friend and incredible artist, Magdalena Salome, agreed to answer your questions and share her favorite tips and tricks!
The questions below have been submitted by my favorite colorists! Did you miss this opportunity? Sign up for my email list and stay up-to-date!
Let’s say your artwork doesn’t turn out like what you envisioned. How do cope with that?
M: I am lucky to be surrounded by many artists. What I have observed is that everyone has their own creative work system.
Some artists have a clearly defined vision of what they want to create, while others – start in one corner of the canvas, not knowing what will be in the opposite one. I have my own terms for these two types of creators:
Artistic Designers and Spontaneous Creators
For Artistic Designers who have a clear vision – a result other than intended may be unsatisfactory. They have an idea that needs to be realized.
Spontaneous Artists, on the other hand, are just used to surprises. Even if the effect is not satisfying, they are looking for a way to change it on the fly. After all, they don’t know what the end result will be, so they are much more flexible.
Each of these types of work has it’s own advantages and disadvantages, but I know, that Artistic Designers struggle more when the result of their work is other than expected.
Here’s my advice:
Make a lot of drafts. Copy the coloring page (or draw a 2×2″ miniature) and vaguely plan out the placement of each color. Visualize your idea, first in a small format. Try to upgrade your first thought, maybe change the composition and colors a bit. Then, once you choose the best draft, you can start working with a bigger piece! That’s how you make something great!
If you really want to work on an art project, but you don’t feel creative at the moment – What do you do?
M: It depends. Sometimes, all I need to do is just start and the flow will come with the art process. Sometimes, to boost my creativity, I’m looking for inspiration on the internet and in books. And in some cases, I just need to go for a walk and have some fresh air.
And then, all I need to do is just start 🙂
Do you have a favorite color combination?
M: I modulate the atmosphere of my art with colors. So the color palette is different for each of my painting series. But, yes, I have my favorite color combination!
I just love indigo and all shades of blue (periwinkle blue is so amazing!) combined with some umbra or yellow ocher. Bright warm colors beautifully contrast with the blue.
I also love deep green combined with rose pink.
And Chinese yellow with magenta.
What’s better: planning a color palette before an art project or picking colors spontaneously?
M: I think the best way is to find your rhythm of work. Some want to work spontaneously, some will rather plan everything first.
In my opinion, the best way is to combine these two methods. Plan, but also stay open to some innovations.
Make some decisions first, but stay spontaneous about the details. For example, pick a few constant colors for your color palette beforehand to stay consistent throughout the process.
When you make mistakes – do you fix them or leave them?
M: My experience tells me to look at these mistakes as an experiment. One of my best professors said that accidents are a blessing to the artist. In the beginning, I had mixed feelings about it. But now I think I understand him.
Sometimes, we are not able to create what will happen by accident. Simply put, we would never have thought of it!
So when I make a mistake, I treat it gently. I look at it, and think: What new quality does it bring?
But sometimes, after all, I just cover it up and get back to my previous vision.
Or start something new.
How do you know which colors will look good together?
M: There is a whole theory about combining colors! You can find lots of examples on how to use a color wheel to find a perfect color combo on the world wide web.
But I have other advice. Become an observer. Try to pick colors from your surroundings. When you see a beautiful landscape, try to extract colors from this view. Consider the shades, reflects, unusual colors.
Another advice. Copy! Open a picture of your favorite painting (for example: “Water Lilies” by Monet). Then look at it, not as a painting, but as an example of combining colors.
Or pick a page from a magazine that speaks to you because of its’ graphic design. Look at the colors. What do you see?
And to be honest, sometimes extending the color palette requires the purchase of new shades. But sometimes, it is enough to learn how to be a master in blending colors.
Note from Anna: At the Art University, we had a course where we were only allowed to use paint and pencils in the basic colors for an entire semester. Think white, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Did it work? Well, yes. We were able to create all the colors we wanted. Would I do it again? Hell, no! Why work harder, when you don’t have to? 🙂 Don’t feel bad if you don’t enjoy blending colors either. It’s perfectly fine to buy a set of pencils with a full color palette. By the way – I’m currently obsessed with these Arteza Professional Pencils, check them out.
Thank You, Magdalena!
Happy Coloring everyone! 🙂