Monday, 4 February 2013


Abstract Rose Series 
Ask about larger Originals or Prints in the same series.
To view my Gallery or purchase this painting 
please visit Daily Paintworks. 
"Signature Style" is so important to your success as an Artist. Here I will address your "Signature Colour" palette.

One of the things I constantly hear from buyers and curators is how important signature style is. When a buyer or curator is looking through a gallery online or offline they want to be able to identify a particular Artist without reading the information. Curious but true! With the advent of online Art marketing it is increasingly important to develop unique style, because thousands of pieces of Art are available at the click of a button. Buyers want their purchase to stand out from the crowd.

One of the components of signature style is signature colour. Whatever your medium, you must develop a unique colour palette so your work is instantly recognizable.  

For this exercise, group your recent works together in one place. Artists who have completed the 30 in 30 challenge by making a collage of their January work, will find this easy. Click here and page down to Jan 31st to see many Artists who have done this. Or click here to use the Pic Monkey collage tool yourself. If you have an online gallery where you can see many recent paintings on one page, this will also work. If you sell through shows, exhibitions and galleries, you will at some point be able to photograph a collection of your work on a wall. Others may have to resort to leafing through a portfolio, or laying work on the floor to do this exercise.

Get a pen and paper and make some notes. It helps if you squint or soften the focus with photoshop. Another trick is to cover with a thin net curtain, so the subject matter doesn't distract you. Make a note of the predominant colour. There will probably be one main colour and several secondary ones; this is called your "palette". Note the intensity; are they muted or bright, soft or hard edged, transparent or opaque, thin washes or thick impasto; each one of these aspects affect the quality of the colour. 

Your signature colour could be pre-mixed by a manufacturer and come with a fancy name but it's more likely a blend of two or three pigments creating a distinctive look. You will also find if you squint and step back that your selection of colours amalgamate and create one colour from a distance, often this is what attracts buyers from across the room. Signature colour tends to change with the seasons, or as an Artist develops, so this should be done regularly to see if you're drifting too far from your look. It's particularly helpful to do this if you are having trouble selling your work.

Part of becoming an Artist is experimenting with colour combinations. Beginners often repaint sections many times until they are happy but experienced Artists mix by instinct and practice. Likewise, once you have identified your signature colour palette you will find it easier to choose supplies and eliminate certain aspects which don't sit well with you, without making an expensive mistake. 

It's always fun to experiment, but remember that your previous customers search for a common thread. The patron's original purchase was partly made because it worked with their decor and they aren't going to redecorate their home to match the painting unless it is a David Hockney, but they may purchase a painting to match another they already own. A new series, using a different palette, may attract new buyers, but it could also alienate your precious loyal fans. By all means learn and grow but keep a modicum of commonality to your work.

Here are some links to famous paintings which use a distinctive palette


Have you chosen your palette for the "Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge" Challenge yet? Consider not only your signature colour but that of the Duchess. 

Remember you will be able to submit your finished painting from 8th Feb. Go to my blog of Jan 31st to find out how. Have fun with it, Catherine is young and current, so avant gard may be just the right style for her. The original commissioned portrait was in a super realistic style (including wrinkles) but yours can be a Picasso or a Hockney.

Please stay tuned for more FREE tips and lessons by clicking on "Follow by Email" on the left. 

Cat # 12032 Rose Sorbet - Posted as # 9 on Leslie Saeta Weekend Post Feb 10th