Discovering colour palettes through art: Large Nude

In my colour class, in order to prepare us for future clients who may want their space decorated around a specific piece of art, we were asked to choose an inspirational picture. The goal was to then pull out colours from the artwork to make a colour scheme for the theoretical room.

This is the painting I chose:

"Large Nude" by Renoir

“Large Nude” by Renoir

This work was painted in 1907, and in my eyes represents a time when beauty was not determined by today’s impossible standards. It is inspiring to me to see a curvaceous woman lazing around nude, with a peacefully unabashed countenance. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder in the past, it is a breath of fresh air to see an “imperfect” body portrayed as being so lovely that it inspired a masterpiece.

The colour palette I came up with below is an analogous colour scheme (See Colour Schemes 101: I can sing a rainbow). These colours represent all the different decorating aspects of the room, not just paint colour. One or two might be a paint colour in the room whereas the other colours could represent furniture, throw cushions, rugs, curtains, wood tones etc. They aren’t particularly colours that I would be inclined to design with in my own home, but the point was to pick colours that represent the artwork.

yellow-green (stretching a bit here, there isn't too much yellow in it)

yellow-green (stretching a bit here, there isn’t too much yellow in it)

yellow (cream is derived from yellow)

yellow (cream is derived from yellow)

yellow-orange

yellow-orange

orange (brown comes from adding black to orange)

orange (brown comes from adding black to orange)

red-orange

red-orange

I am still a novice at this practice but it is fun to play around with colour. The magazine House Beautiful has a section every month where they do something similar to this. If you are interested in the concept but don’t feel like buying a magazine check out the website design seeds: it beautifully demonstrates this practice and is fun to browse around.

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