Limited Color Palettes Make Me Happy

Description: A stick figure holding a steaming mug looks out the window at us and smiles. There is a small potted plant next to them. Outside it is dark and raining, with a few highlights on the bushes from the glow of the window.

This remains one of my favorite pieces. It’s simple, but it makes me feel calm and cozy every time I look at it, and I think “Yes, I really love this job.” This piece has about 6 colors in it, and I’m so proud of the contrast between the cold rainy evening outside and the warm and cozy inside.

I started using a more limited palette, and I love it for two reasons. One is that it’s challenging my “should” thoughts. Like “The sky should be blue” and “Those bushes should be green.” I think most artists know that things are rarely the colors we think they “should” be. so it’s fun to just push my brain outside of “should” and more about “what am I communicating here? what’s the idea? What’s the story?”

The second reason I love limited color palettes is I am not constantly questioning my color choices. I have six colors to choose from, I’m not struggling with “Should it be salmon or pink?” It saves me a lot of time agonizing over color choices, and gives me more brain space to focus on the actual drawing, which is wonderful. I can see there are things I want to work on in the future, like trying different poses and “camera angles” to see how that impacts the story telling.

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