Do you think colour can be too bright, too bold, too distracting?  Sometimes it is! Bright glaring red, yellow, black and orange colours shout in nature “Stay away, I’m Dangerous!”

Bright Orange Colour, acrylic abstract painting
Bright Orange

Bright Colours can be too loud

Generally,  when painting I like to neutralise and subdue my ‘brights’ so they stop their shouting.  I’d like a little peace and quiet, thank you.

How about you?  Do you like the bright, loud, Hawaiian style print motif or a calmer, laid back pattern?


Of course,  it does depend on the person and on the mood.

Sometimes, I’m in the mood to break loose.  Be liberated. To get bright, happy, carefree and use all those youthful colours with abandon.  Then, I tone it back down after I’ve expended that energy.

We’re all different  with different moods, in different seasons.  It certainly, keeps things from being boring.



When you look at the Bright Orange Abstract, take note of the simplicity and plainness of design.

Have a look at the calmness ratio to ‘busy’ ratio.   I’ve deliberately  eased off the busy, in order to calm the whole image down. So it shouts Less.

Generally, my ratio is about 2/3 calm to about 1/3  busy. Roughly.   When I use Bright Loud colours like Orange,  I will try to increase that ratio to maybe 80% calm or so, to offset the Vividness.

When you look at the Ink monochrome,  see how I have increased my ‘busy’ ratio?  That is to compensate for the lack of colour.

I need more detail, more textures in order to keep the viewers engaged.  To keep the image from being too boring, too monotonous.


landscape in black ink, without distracting colour,
Ink Landscape B/W


Monochromes and Neutrals tend to be calmer

Ink Landscape was created in a monochromatic approach, using no distracting colour to interfere with the design.


Below, I’ve taken a black and white photo of a congenial butterfly to compare with the full colour photograph.

B/W Monarch Butterfly, without distracting colour,
B/W Butterfly

Comparison of Colour and Black and White


This friendly and cooperative butterfly paused long enough for several photos.

I’d accidentally had my camera mode on black and white for the first group of shots.

Wasn’t happy at all.


Then,  I thought it would be a great article expose.  To contrast a butterfly without colour  and then with colour.  How Fortuitous.

My shoot wasn’t ruined after all.  I was happy again.  It doesn’t take much.  I’m so lucky!

Monarch butterfly in orange, brown colours
Ms. Butterfly in Colour
Orange and Brown Colours

Orange and golden brown orange with a deep red orange bordering on burgundy adorn this fabulous model. Looking at her…. close up, I didn’t find her colours distracting.

She posed gracefully, and tirelessly next to her ultramarine violet prop. I’m sure she knew how to best accent her features. She looked like she’d modeled before.

At any rate, she was delightful and was gorgeous.


Monarch Butterfly Closeup, in colour,
Closer to the Butterfly

I enjoyed my outing with the butterfly, painting with bright orange and with monochrome ink.  I think I’ll call it a day.


What do you think?

Is colour distracting your eye from the tonal contrasts and details?  Are you finding that Colour can be distracting or not at all?