5 Ways to Use Color Psychology in Your Artwork to Inspire Positivity

A closeup of a bright red gerbera daisy to introduce the article on color psychology in art

Color psychology is so interesting! It’s all about how color can affect your mood, your physical wellbeing, and even the decisions you make. This is a neat way to make a painting even more special because, not only are you creating a piece of artwork, you’re also putting thought into what mood you’d like to create.

Color psychology is really helpful when you want to paint a piece for a specific space in your home, or as a gift for a loved one. Most people know what they want different rooms in their house to feel like. For instance, maybe you want your entryway to feel inviting, your bathroom to be relaxing, and your kitchen to be friendly. Using color psychology in your artwork can totally make this happen for you!

All this being said, color psychology is only one of the things to consider when you’re creating a piece of art. It should help enhance the feeling of a space but still connect with your personal style. The good news is that no matter if you’re into contemporary, farmhouse cottage, or somewhere in between, color psychology can be used with any specific décor.

Using Color Psychology in Your Art

A closeup of bright rainbow colored roses with the title "Using Color Psychology in Art".

One big thing to keep in mind is that your personal color preference is going to play a huge role in how a color makes you feel. If green makes you want to gag then you’re better off not using it to create a positive mood. And, for the love of tacos, do NOT use it in your kitchen! (Unless you’re trying to lose weight, haha)

Come on, Get Happy!

Extreme closeup of pink and yellow flowers with orange shadows, representing happiness in color psychology.

Happy colors tend to be warm like yellow, orange, and pink. Notice how I didn’t include red? That’s because red is a very strong statement color and it’s also one of the most conflicting colors when it comes to color psychology. Red can be seen as a warning/danger color, the color of passion and desire, and even power.

If you love red like I do, by all means, add it to the list of happy colors for yourself. If you’re going to use color psychology in a painting that you plan on giving as a gift, though, I’d take it easy on the red. Although, a little dab here and there never hurt anyone!

The psychology behind Happy Colors:

  • Yellow – Seen as a cheerful color that reminds people of sunshine and flowers. It can also give a space an air of excitement. If you are someone who suffers from the winter blahs, this might be the perfect color for you. I have issues with depression and the majority of my house is painted in different shades of yellow. It’s so warm and cozy on a bleak winter’s day
  • Orange – The color of some of my favorite things, pumpkins, fall leaves, and Halloween! If you’re an autumn lover, orange is going to bring you all kinds of positive feels. In color psychology, orange is seen as the color of happiness, energy, and enthusiasm. Even if you aren’t a lover of orange, imaging a world without beautiful fiery sunsets, or zesty citrus fruit bursting with flavor. Adding a touch of orange to your art will draw attention to it and turn a painting into something with pizazz!
  • Pink – In color psychology, pink can create feelings of joy, kindness, and compassion. I tend to wear a lot of pink and it’s because it makes me feel feminine, young, and approachable. Brighter shades of pink can create moods of joyful energy and flirty fun. If you really dive into the color psychology of pink, it’s actually a pretty versatile color

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Calm, Cool, and Collected

Extreme closeup of a blue hydrangea with lime green flowers that haven't turned yet.

Using color psychology to reduce stress, and to create an environment that promotes relaxation, is very popular. Our lives are so busy so having as many things in your home that are peaceful is an absolute must.

Think back to the paintings you’ve done. Have you ever felt like you were totally in the zone and completely relaxed? That feeling could have been coming from the paint colors you were using!

Any pale shade of color will be more calming than its brighter cousin but when you really want to create a feeling of wellbeing, go for blues and greens or even a mix of the two. These are great colors to use in bedrooms and bathrooms.

The psychology behind Calming Colors:

  • Blue – Relaxation, security, and consistency are some of the feelings that blue can conjure up in color psychology. Blue is commonly seen as a traditional color and it is favored by many people. If you’re painting a piece as a gift for someone else, using blue as a dominant color is a pretty safe bet. Think along the lines of blue water, blue sky, or blue flowers. You could even come up with a painting that has all three elements! If you do decide to paint a seascape, make sure to check out my article with lots of tips to help you be successful when painting the ocean.
  • Green – In color psychology, green is the color of peace, new growth, and harmony. It would be an excellent color to use in a painting that you were planning on giving as a baby shower gift. Green in a nursery is very popular and very symbolic, celebrating new life (growth) and promoting relaxation.

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Concentration Manifestation

Two bright orange flowers with a blue sunny sky representing colors that help with focus.

If you’re thinking about painting something for a home office or library, try using a lot of blues and/or oranges. You don’t want your painting to be a source of distraction so don’t use overly vibrant shades. Neon orange is not conducive to concentration, just sayin’!

Color Psychology in Art for Concentration:

  • Blue – As well as what we’ve already learned about blue, it can also lead to productivity. It can help you to be more efficient and focused
  • Orange – This color combines the positivity of yellow and the alertness of red. Orange can really boost a person’s confidence and can also help with organization

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Erase Negativity with Creativity

A bouquet of lilac branches in different shades of purple, the color of creativity.

As artists, we can even use color psychology to help in our art journey. Surrounding yourself with colors that inspire new ideas is a great idea for your art area.

Color Psychology for Creatives:

  • Purple – Color psychology suggests that purple stimulates the imagination. It takes the productivity of blue and mixes it with the passion and excitement of red. It’s the perfect mix of focus, energy, and interest

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A Bounty of Blessings

A green field filled with small bright yellow flowers, representing the colors of abundance.

They say that you manifest your own reality. Basically, this means that you’ll get exactly what you think you deserve. So, let’s say, you are planning on giving a painting as a wedding gift. One way to make this gift amazingly special is to use color psychology to infuse blessings and good fortune into the piece.

Colors of Abundance:

  • Green – It represents abundance (think, $$$) and growth. When thinking about using this color as a hidden wish for others or even yourself, you are adding intention to your painting and wishing abundance in all branches of life, whether that be financial, love, adventure, or even laughter and happiness. You’re also sending wishes for continued growth and improvement
  • Yellow – Abundance is all about hope and optimism for a bright future so, naturally, color psychology suggests yellow. Painting yellow flowers is like sending the positive message that happiness and optimism in the future is yours for the taking

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Color psychology can be a great way to add extra meaning to your paintings. Knowing how the majority of people react emotionally to certain colors is really helpful if you are trying to create a specific mood. Think about abstract paintings. You could use color to help people to connect with your piece. Wouldn’t it be interesting to paint an abstract using color psychology and then asking a bunch of different people how it makes them feel?

Through your art, you can use color psychology to create a living space that helps to lift your spirits, inspires you to create, or relax and be at peace. You could, also, infuse it into a gift with special wishes from you to whoever is the lucky recipient of your painting.

I’m curious, so comment below, how do beige and tan colors make you feel?

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