Welcome back to the color studio! Today, we’ll explore the warm, inviting hues of a brown color palette, inspired by a captivating painting from the renowned Impressionist artist, Edgar Degas. Despite being best known for his elegant depictions of ballet dancers, this particular work showcases a moment in a 19th-century New Orleans cotton office. Let’s delve into these serene yet rich colors that will undeniably enhance your focus and productivity in any workplace setting.
Brown Hues: A Fresh Perspective on Edgar Degas
While Edgar Degas is synonymous with his enchanting ballet dancer paintings, the image that sparked my interest and inspired today’s palette deviates from his typical subject matter. The painting captures a bustling workplace, where Degas has effortlessly frozen the atmosphere in time, just as he does with his other masterpieces.
One cannot help but wonder about the identity of the elderly gentleman in the black silk hat, seemingly out of place amidst the flurry of office workers. Is he a client awaiting a meeting? Or perhaps the man engrossed in the newspaper, seemingly uninvolved in the work surrounding him? Imagination is one of the great joys we experience when admiring art.
Discovering the Warmth of Brown
The colors in this palette, although tranquil like my previous selection, possess a warmth that is distinctly brown. Admittedly, I haven’t always been a fan of brown—it can sometimes feel dull or overly neutral. However, it proves to be a versatile and harmonious choice when crafting palettes, much like the universal appeal of coffee.
This brown color palette is complemented by a soothing olive green, which surrounds the diligent office workers (apart from the two seemingly unoccupied individuals). For today’s article, I’ve decided to present the palette alongside the original painting, hoping that you find this new format as delightful as I do.
A Brown Palette for the Office and Beyond
This brown color palette, inspired by Degas’ office scene, would be an excellent choice for application in workplaces or offices. The neutral brown tones induce a sense of calm and concentration, allowing you to focus on your work. Should you desire a pop of color to occasionally brighten your mood, consider incorporating a vibrant accent hue in a small area.
- CMYK: 25, 31, 67, 0 | 38, 62, 90, 0 | 51, 63, 96, 9 | 50, 76, 95, 17 | 64, 63, 96, 25
- Web: #CAAF63, #AE7232, #8A632B, #854928, #625329
- Mood: Warm and tranquil, not too light or heavy
A Moment of Reprieve with Degas
As is customary, let’s unwind with another one of Degas’ enchanting paintings, “Three Dancers in an Exercise Hall”. Many of his works depict dancers in various stages of practice, and this piece is no exception.
My favorite aspect of this painting is the window with its breathtaking view. It instantly transports me back to my Airbnb accommodation in Paris a few years ago, where a similar window allowed sunlight to stream in and illuminate the dancers’ graceful movements.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”Edgar Degas
“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”
“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”
These quotes reflect Degas’ belief in the power of art to evoke emotions and the importance of the artist’s ability to capture and convey a unique perspective to their audience.
A Brief Introduction to Edgar Degas
Before we part, it’s only fitting to briefly introduce the mastermind behind our inspiration, Edgar Degas. A French painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Degas was a founding member of the Impressionist movement. His skillful manipulation of line, color, and composition resulted in captivating works that explored a range of subjects, from ballet dancers to horse races. His innovative approach to art and his relentless pursuit of excellence continue to influence and inspire artists today.
Egyptian blue: Pantone colors and paintings
Contrast color palette inspired by Rene Magritte