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The Palette In A Painting Matters

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The Palette In A Painting Matters

Hi there! I'm Veronica Huacuja, a painter and an online art teacher. I have some interesting tips for your art process. Hope you enjoy the post.

PREVIOUS COMMENT. I attend to painting workshops with physical models where other artists gather, too. I made up this painting in one of those sessions, and while working on the piece, I wondered and tried to decipher what was the emotional state of the woman that posed to us that day.

That’s one side of the story. The other side is what we, as artists, have in mind at the moment of the creation process. So, the model’s pose, and her attitude, as well as our emotional mindset, are the diverse elements that combine to make up an artwork. Isn’t it?

The data sheet of the artwork is:

Title: Woman 6
Artist: Veronica Huacuja
Medium: Acrylic on paper
Size: 61 x 48.3 x 0.1 cm
Year: 2021
Collection: Women

THE PALETTE. Now, let's attend to the post’s title, “The Palette in a Painting Matters”, and the reasons for this statement.

As we may know, a palette is the set of colours we use in a painting. This selection involves understanding how does color work in a painting to portray light, depth, perspective and mood.

So, that being said, I’d like to emphasize the variety and intensity of the paints I used in the foreground in this piece. Understanding the foreground of the work as the colours used from the mid-waist to the feet of the figure. My intention for this colour treatment was to give a powerful presence to the character. This set of colours also worked to dramatize the scene.

I handled the colour from the waist up to the head in a less saturated way. I made this choice in order to achieve depth, and the different planes in the work or perspective.

And now, let’s talk about the mood, which, as we may know, is the atmosphere or feeling expressed in a work. In this piece, the mood is dark and disturbing. I decided not to paint the features of the model’s face. That gave anonymity to the character. Why? Life makes us have strange associations. Days before I watched the film “You Were Never Really Here”, created by the so talented female film director, Lynne Ramsay (1969, Scotland), where her main character–interpreted by Joaquin Phoenix (1974, U.S.)–, covered his face with a plastic bag (the “exit bag”), in private sessions (inside a closet, on his bed, etc.), this to create suicidal environments. These scenes are very strong, they impressed me very much.

Maybe that’s the same dramatic motivation for this character. Or the way around, somebody grabbed her head with a plastic bag.

LET’S DEDUCE A SIGNIFICANT MEANING FROM THE ABOVE. As artists, would it be worthwhile, besides, managing the technicals aspects of our art, to be attentive to our daily interior experiences that provide us with new and interesting topics for our work? Julio Cortázar (1914-1984, Argentina)–novelist, short story author, essayist, and translator–carried out this daily experience. He called it the “interstice of reality”, where the extraordinary displays.


- Acrylic paints.

- Paper. The paper's brand I used in this work is Bristol, 270 g/m2. It's a thick paper that withstands the humidity of the acrylic painting.

Please write your opinions in the comment section. It will generate a very interesting dialogue.

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