Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

Finding Inspiration

for Your Art......

Anna Maria Island, Florida



-Seeing RED! Seven Ideas to Inspire Your Art Making

 Always looking toward Nature as inspiration, this week I am focusing on RED. How about seven ideas for seven days of inspiration?

Mother Nature is displaying her magnificence all over miy little island this month. 

The Royal Poinciana tree is creating canopies of red-orange flowers along the roads demanding attention from passersby. 

Intense RED....

"Attention!  Look at me!!!!!" 

Crimson, Ruby, Carmine, Fire Engine, Cardinal, Fire, Maroon, Blood,Ruby, all conjure up a juicey palette begging for more.  

Royal Poinciana are fast growing tropical trees reaching heights of 50+ feet and can grow wider than their height.  So you can imagine the shock of seeing that much color as you drive down a quiet street, or turn a corner.  The red is so intense that you just can't look anywhere else.


Red, of course, is the color of the interior of our bodies.  In a way, it's inside out, red.

-Sculptor, Anish Kapoor



 These blooms look "extra" red when viewing up close.  Some petals are a red-orange illuminating the overall feel of red.  And, of course, the green leaves behind the flowers are intensifying the red because of the severe contrast. 

The color red illicits feelings from hunger to fear, to lust, to danger.  Red is romantic, exciting.  It stirs up passion. 

 Using red in your art making can be challenging or just plain fun.  There are so many lush hues of red to choose from and you can mix to your "red" heart's content!


 You know where to look in this painting.

"Oath of the Horatii"  by Jacques Louis David

Notice how David draws the viewer to the center

with his vivid use of RED. It illicits a sense of passion

to the rather dull environment. 



Check out the use of red in these paintings:


 "The Red Room:  Harmony in Red"


The flat red creates a feeling of the viewer being inside the painter's head.  Are we inside one of Matisse's imaginings?





 "Red Poppy"

Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe is using the orange in this painting to intensify  the "redness" of the poppy, similar to the Royal Poinciana blooms.









How about a little "screaming RED"?

 You know this one.....

"The Scream"   Edvard Munch





                                                     Odion Redon



 Egon Schiele                                             


So, do I have you "Seeing Red" yet?  Let's try some ideas using RED to inspire your art making....    

#1  Today, experiment in your sketchbook with red ink or watercolor.  Have fun letting it get drippy and messy.  Blot it up, pour water on it, spray it.  Create thick layers over bulbous watery layers.  See RED everywhere on the paper.  Now, add some orange to intensify the red. 

Let it dry and go over it to add even more red. 


Day #2  Use acrylic paints right out of the tube.  You'll be focusing on creating a mostly "Red" painting, but don't forget the pinks.  Create a thick, gooey, three-dimensional red painting.  You can make a series of these paintings.  And..... a little bonus for you.  If you make a thick acrylic painting on wax paper, when it dries, you can peel it off in one piece.  Save it and use it in another painting!

Day #3  Let's try some stencils.  Use all the reds you have, layer them.  And, don't forget some black and white for emphasis.

 Day #4  Keep your stencils out but this time, spray alcohol inks through the stencils.  If it starts looking too neat.....take the stencil off and spray.  Try to get an all over textured look.  You can use these papers later for collage or backgrounds.


Day#5  Collage!  Use your experiments from this week or look for anything you can find that's red.  Printed materials, handmade papers, ribbons, string, beads.  It all works.  Try it.

Day #6  Get a piece of red fabric, wrinkle it up a bit, make some folds, and PAINT it.  Mix your reds first and generously paint the lights and darks of the folded fabric.  Use any paints you feel comfortable with.

And.....Day #7  Try a portrait.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but you can make it much more interesting by adding red to the eyes, hair and ears.  It will liven up your painting and don't forget to add a little green!

Hope this gives you a couple of ideas to stay inspired.  Basically, its just a way to "prime the well" when you need some ideas.  If you need help coming up with ideas to use for red paintings, check out the blog post:  

What's the Big Idea?


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« -Reach Out to a Larger Audience | -A Nice Surprise! »