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Colors Quotes


Vincent van Gogh
  • Suffice it to say that black and white are also colors... for their simultaneous contrast is as striking as that of green and red, for instance
  • I am crazy about two colors: carmine and cobalt. Cobalt is a divine color and there is nothing so beautiful for creating atmosphere. Carmine is as warm and lively as wine... the same with emerald green.
  • How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun.
  • There is no blue without yellow and without orange, and if you put in blue, then you must put in yellow, and orange too, mustn't you? Oh well, you will tell me that what I write to you are only banalities.
  • Colouring does not depend on where the colours are put, but on where the lights and darks are put, and all depends on form and outline, on where that is put.
  • Drawing is feeling. Color is an act of reason.
  • It is still color; it is not yet light.
  • You reason color more than you reason drawing... Color has a logic as severe as form.
  • One has to arrive at a specific temperature, at which the objects become malleable
  • Colour could give rise to sensations which would interfere with our conception of space.
  • You put a blob of yellow here, and another at the further edge of the canvas: straight away a rapport is established between them. Colour acts in the way that music does...
  • - on Eugene Delacroix... - His is the greatest palette of France and no one beneath our skies possessed to a greater extent than he both the serene and the pathetic, the vibration of color. We all paint through him.
  • There is no model; there is only color.
  • Nature is more depth than surface. Hence the need to introduce into our light vibrations represented by the reds and yellows, a sufficient amount of blue to give the impression of air.
  • When the color achieves richness, the form attains its fullness also.
  • - to Camille Pissarro... - The sun is so terrific here that is seems to me as if the objects were silhouetted not only in black and white, but in blue, red, brown and violet. I may be mistaken, but this seems to me to be the opposite of modelling.
  • There is a logic of colors, and it is with this alone, and not with the logic of the brain, that the painter should conform.
  • Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.
  • -on trying to paint a pale blue sky... - I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.






  • At one side of the palette there is white, at the other black; and neither is ever used neat.
  • What a horrible thing yellow is.
Eugene Delacroix*
  • The sea a dark greenish blue like a fig. 
  • The more an object is polished or brilliant, the less you see its own color and the more it becomes a mirror reflecting the color of its surroundings.
  • Remember the enemy of all painting is gray: a painting will almost always appear grayer than it is, on account of its oblique position under the light.
  • Not only can color, which is under fixed laws, be taught like music, but it is easier to learn than drawing, whose elaborate principles cannot be taught.
  • All painting worth its name, unless one is talking about black and white, must include the idea of color as one of its necessary supports, in the same way that it includes chiaroscuro, proportion, and perspective.
  • Draughtsmen may be made, but colourists are born.
  • Everyone knows that yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty.
  • I can paint you the skin of Venus with mud, provided you let me surround it as I will.
  • Full, saturated colours have an emotional significance I want to avoid.
Antoni Gaudi*
  • Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic. 
Paul Gauguin*
  • -on Vincent Van Gogh... - Oh yes! He loved yellow, did good Vincent... When the two of us were together in Arles, both of us insane, and constantly at war over beautiful colors, I adored red; where could I find a perfect vermilion?
  • Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams.
  • Color which, like music, is a matter of vibrations, reaches what is most general and therefore most indefinable in nature: its inner power...
  • If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.
  • It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block.
  • Colours are light's suffering and joy.
  • Colours are the deeds of light, its deeds and sufferings.
El Greco*
  • It is only after years of struggle and deprivation that the young artist should touch color - and then only in the company of his betters.
Winslow Homer*
  • It is wonderful how much depends upon the relations of black and white... A black and white, if properly balanced, suggests colour.
Wassily Kandinsky*
  • I applied streaks and blobs of colors onto the canvas with a palette knife, and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...
  • Almost without exception, blue refers to the domain of abstraction and immateriality. 
  • Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.
  • A parallel between color and music can only be relative – just as a violin can give warm shades of tone, so yellow has shades, which can be expressed by various instruments.
  • The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with bass notes or dark lake with treble...
  • As a picture painted in yellow always radiates spiritual warmth, or as one in blue has apparently a cooling effect, so green is only boring.
  • In the hierarchy of colors, green represents the social middle class, self-satisfied, immovable, narrow...
  • Absolute green is the most restful color, lacking any undertone of joy, grief, or passion. On exhausted men this restfulness has a beneficial effect, but after a time it becomes tedious.
  • Colors produce a corresponding spiritual vibration, and it is only as a step towards this spiritual vibration that the elementary physical impression is of importance.
  • Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.
  • I have always painted pictures where human love floods my colors.



  • I colori, come i lineamenti, seguono i cambiamenti delle emozioni. Pablo Picasso
  • Non c'è blu senza il giallo e senza l'arancione. Vincent Van Gogh
  • Il colore è un mezzo di esercitare sull'anima un'influenza diretta. Il colore è un tasto, l'occhio il martelletto che lo colpisce, l'anima lo strumento dalle mille corde. Wassily Kandinsky
  • Amo i colori, tempi di un anelito inquieto, irresolvibile, vitale, spiegazione umilissima e sovrana dei cosmici "perché" del mio respiro. Alda Merini
  • I colori maturano la notte. Alda Merini
  • Il disegno ed il colore non sono affatto distinti. Man mano che si dipinge, si disegna. Più il colore diventa armonioso, più il disegno si fa preciso. Paul Cézanne
  • Una mattina, siccome uno di noi era senza nero, si servì del blu: era nato l'impressionismo. Pierre-Auguste Renoir