Autumn Art Colors that are Powerful but Not Overwhelming

Luuk Lijten

I’ve always loved the varied and intense colors of fall. With the season just starting, I realized it is the perfect time to share with you this stunning oil painting by artist Bob Rohm entitled Morning Color.

It’s a wonderful example of how intense your art colors can be. Yet there’s no reason why they can’t be perfectly appropriate in an otherwise muted landscape.

Why Intense Colors Work

The yellow cottonwood trees Rohm painted here seem especially vibrant compared to the cool grayish-purple tones of the surrounding trees and mountains. The cool hues dominate the painting. That allows the warm golden leaves to appear all the more intense.

Color is an overwhelming subject, complicated by the sheer vast spectrum of its existence.  To approach it through words, we’re immediately limited.  To approach it through paint, we are still limited by our available pigments and our skill and perception,

To maximize color intensity, Rohm recommends using the background hues to enhance — not compete with — a composition’s more vivid hues. He suggests, “Only one color family should be dominant.”

Warm, Cool, and Highlights

There are three components of managing intense color. Using the color and balancing it with either warm or cool shades, and using highlights to snap the viewer’s attention into focus.Whatever color scheme is attached to our preconceived ideas, we tend to limit our perception.  When you truly look at something, however, you see that there is so much more to the picture.

In this sunset painting, Rohm uses complementary hues of blue and orange with two streaking white highlights to achieve intense color. It feels powerful but not unrealistic or artificial.

Explore Color This Season

I think of autumn as a time of renewal: renewed focus on my passions, picking up half-done art projects with a reawakened sense of creativity and a time to steep myself in what I love, which is color.

All the paintings I am planning for the immediate future put color at the center of it all. If you feel the same way, I have a unique offer for you in celebration of the start of the fall season.

It steers our love of color in all the right directions with fun and easy ways to understand color theory and how to put it into your next real life painting. Get your copy of Color and enjoy now–with 30% off in celebration of the forthcoming first day of fall.

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