Using beige and taupe in art
I have always been very careful using these shades in my work; not because I don’t like them but because other colours always feel more expressive to me.
However, having seen what a couple of my clients have done with their interior spaces recently I wanted to give this rather over-used colour a chance to redeem itself. I’m not exactly sure what name you’d give it in this painting, as it covers a few variations of the same mix. I think I prefer the word ‘taupe’ so let’s stick to that.
What do you put with taupe then?
A very good question. One could argue that any colour would fit with it but having gone through a couple of experimental test canvases I soon found out that, in fact, that principle doesn’t work. There are certain colours that work well but most others look awful.
So I chose a rich blend of purple. This one has some top notes of burgundy to it whilst retaining a mild blue hint. I get a little coolness but also a connection to the blended taupe. In fact I used a little of that burgundy highlight (from the purple) and fused it into parts of the taupe background – so there’s a link between both the foreground and background.
Adding the other elements
The painting is not all about the big purple feature though. The main event always needs a strong supporting cast and in A Spadeful of Ground those honours go to a smudge of bright pink and some thin black loops.
These elements work for two key reasons: firstly they’re a different colour and secondly they’re a different shape. Our brains react to changes in structures very quickly and with colour even faster.
Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But we seldom stop for long enough to work out why we react to things in the way that we do. Understanding that a little more can have a massive impact on the way we view art.
Placing the painting
The brilliance of a neutral tone, like taupe, is that you only ever need to give consideration to the prominent colours and how they make you feel. So we’re talking about a love of purple here and the decision on whether that will fit into your life or not.
Furthermore, the way in which purple is applied, and the shape that it forms, will also have a measured impact on what the painting says to you.
It’s happy to hang in any of the four possible orientations. I’ve given you a few examples to illustrate the differences.
- Canvas: Polyester 340gsm
- Preparation: One coat of primer, one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint (6 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges.
- Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse
- Book a visit to my Gallery in the UK. Mail or call to arrange
- I will come and see you with a selection of my art – all included in the price
- EU, USA and other International shipping is available
- My team will hang this painting for you