We’ve all been there. Walking down the road, enjoying an outdoor stroll when the weather if fine, or driving along on our ways to our next destination, when we’re literally stopped in our tracks by stunning—and colorful—improvisational artistry. Whether it be whimsical murals birthed from the womb of a professional painter commissioned specifically for the space, or random passersby who saw said wall as a blank canvas just waiting to be covered, street art—from measured graphic designs to free style graffiti—is as versatile as it is often colorful, and we love it.
Here are some of our favorite random street art creations alongside the palettes they inspired. We’d love to see some of your own snapshots of your favorite neighborhood street art and accompanying created Colourlovers palettes as well, community! So jump on in and share the Colourlove!
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Gazing at this whimsical mural is nothing short of mesmerizing. It's beautiful, serpent-infused design definitely casts a certain inspirational spell.
"DREAM CATCHER QUEEN"
Walking by this mural makes us wonder just what this divine goddess is dreaming of. Whatever it is, the colorful hues swirling around her sure are heavenly.
Perhaps via a respectful nod to famed Picasso, the painter behind this bold and lively mural sure knows how to make an impression. All in favor of this fun fantasy-inspired street art, say "eye"!
"WHEN YOU SMILIN'"
We saw this street art and couldn't help but smile. If laughter is said to be infectious, this man's widespread grin could only be described then as nothing short of contagious! We're more than fine "catching" whatever positivity he is passing around!
Zen is the word that first comes to mind when passing this peace-riddled work of street art. As much as we long to know what this beautiful muse is, well, musing about (!), we also just can't seem to dare disturb her idyllic reverie in order to inquire. We'll have to be content to allow her dreams only to whisper to her as she dwells in her own little reverie world.
"TO BUILD A HOME"
Who wouldn't want to live in this quirky, fun community of colorful stacked abodes?! We sure would! Consider this blog post our version of officially signing up for the waiting list of intended residents in this rainbow-infused, topsy-turvy apartment complex!
"WHAT A CROC!"
Who doesn't love the Crocodile Hunter?! We sure do! And when you add untamed wild animals and swirls of psychedelic pigment, including purple and teal tones? Well Crikey! ...then it's just darn near perfection!
Starlight. Starbright. This stunning street art mural seems to capture the first star this beauty sees tonight.
Sea-inspired street art is one of the most popular genres of murals one will come across. Yet, luckily for pedestrians and drivers, and all other appreciators, the ocean has so many versatile animals and enigmatic colors within it, the art--and inspired palettes alongside--are near endless and never get old to ooh and ahh over.
COME FLY WITH ME
Butterflies are also an often-included symbol within street art. Yet, as it is with ocean themes, so too do we never seem to tire of motifs featuring lovely monarch varieties and the like of these little beauties.
Our world is filled with a wondrous array of color, including the exterior adornment of our own abodes. From the iconic Rainbow Row in Charleston to Mexico’s nutty and shell-shaped Nautilus House, the homes that literally color our earth are beyond amazing. Here are a few of our favorite fairyland residences along with the palettes each inspire. Feel free to add your own preferred unique and colorful cribs (with your own signature palettes) to the mix below!
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THE NAUTILUS HOUSE, MEXICO
Nestled right near Mexico City, the well-known Nautilus House is a quite eccentrically wonderful residence. Designed by Mexican architect Javier Senosiain, the creative and innovative structure is said to have been loosely modeled after the works stemming from the genius of the likes of Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright, and more. Known as what Senosiain described as “Bio-Architecture,” the concept for this design is aimed at using buildings based upon the natural principles of their organic forms in order to return us back to connection with our local culture’s history, traditions, and roots, as well as the building itself maintaining a balance and harmony with nature.
MMMMMM-WORTHY RESIDENCE IN MYKONOS, GREECE
This cheery and bright private residence located in Mykonos, Greece had to be included on the list, as who could possible gaze at its happy blues, vibrant cherry reds, and joyful sunshine yellows without smiling? We sure can’t!
HUNDERTWASSERHAUS, VIENNA, AUSTRIA
A well-known apartment house located in Vienna, Austria, the Hundertwasserhaus was built with the aid of architect Joseph Krawina, alongside—and according to the concept’s created by—Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who not surprisingly, first began work as a painter.
PRIVATE RESIDENCE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
A residence worthy of an address in the land of OZ, or perhaps, Fairy Neverland, this neon-esque abode takes shock and awe to an entirely new level. Vibrant and in-your-face electric shades every shade of the rainbow invite every visitor to tap into the color-loving kid within. We’re fans!
ROCHOR CENTRE, SINGAPORE
Originally built by Singapore’s Housing and Development Board in 1977, then 4-block group of buildings is a public beacon of bright and happy vibes, consisting of yellow, green, red, and blue yay-worthy installments. Sadly, this lovely landmark is being demolished in order to make way for the construction of Singapore’s North-South Expressway.
CASA BATLLO, BARCELONA, SPAIN
One of Antoni Gaudi’s most famous and beloved architectural masterpieces, Casa Batlló may be found in the bustling center of Barcelona. Originally constructed as a remodel of a previously built house, Gaudi returned to redesign the structure in 1904, along with several assistants. The jaw-dropping home received its moniker (literally translating to “House of Bones”) due to the design’s “visceral,” “skeletal,” and “organic” character.
An ancient and mesmerizing city in its own rite, Istanbul is infused with colorful mosques, iridescent tilework, and so much more that appeals to the eye (and heart). But the vast beauty in this city’s architecture isn’t limited to its spiritual houses of worship, but rather extends to private residences as well, as seen in this technicolor display of local residential townhouses.
When one thinks of Russia, cold is a word that often instantly comes to mind. Yet for this section of homes spotted in Moscow, the happy feels infused by their rainbow-riddled residences can’t help but “warm” you up, heart and soul.
WIMEREUX HOUSE, FRANCE
About as close to a real world gingerbread house in appearance as one can find, this Wimereux residence in France fosters joy and cheerful emotions in all who pass by, and especially in those who are lucky enough to stay here.
RAINBOW ROW, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Word famous Charleston’s Rainbow Row is comprised of thirteen historic houses spanning nearly every shade and hue of the—you guessed it—rainbow. The line of collected residences also happens to represent the longest string of Georgian row houses existing in the entire United States. Pastel and popping with pigment, this iconic landmark remains to this day one of Charleston’s most photographed and popular tourist attractions.
It's been said that "colors are the smiles of nature," and if such a sentiment is true, then the oceans, seas, rivers and lakes of our world must be joyful entities indeed, as these bodies of beautiful water are practically beaming with an array of shades spanning every realm of the rainbow. Here are a few of our favorite flowing kaleidoscopes of color, what are some of yours?
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CAÑO CRISTALES RIVER, COLOMBIA
Known also as "the river of five colors," this natural phenomenon morphs into a non-too-muted vibrant shade of crimson each autumn like clockwork. Its change in color is attributed to a local native plant sourcing psychedelic-inspiring minerals and nutrients, apparently.
LAKE RETBA, SENEGAL
Every child (and grown adult's) bubblegum dream, Senegal's Lake Retba gets its pastel pink hue from a non-dangerous bacteria that absolutely adores the saltiness of its waters.
GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA
One of the famed wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia harbors a plethora of coral, seaweed, and fish species, which more than explains its near endless and exhaustive color kaleidoscope seen here.
LAKE NATRON, TANZANIA
Shallow and uber-salty, Lake Natron in Tanzania is so salty, in fact, that it's most flora and fauna can't survive here. But on the plus side? The incredible colors it creates, including bright red water and ooh-la orange shores.
EMERALD LAKES, NEW ZEALAND
Emerald Lakes is an iconic lake located in New Zealand's Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Incredibly, this natural wonder's yellow-edged enigmatic water is absolutely pure.
GRÜNER SEE, AUSTRIA
Grüner See, which is literally translated as "Green Lake," is a lake found in Styria, Austria. This beautiful gem is surrounded by the Hochschwab Mountains and forests, and received its moniker from the marvelous depths of rich emerald-green water it consists of, which comes directly from the snowmelt from the nearby mountains.
LAGUNA COLORADA, BOLIVIA
Laguna Colorada, also known as "Red Lagoon," is found within Bolivia's Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Close to the border with Chile, the fact that the vibrant colored lake houses within it borax islands (which are responsible for the white color) provides a perfectly picturesque contrast with the crimson color of its waters (the red deriving form red sediments and pigmentation of algae).
BLUE POOLS, HAAST PASS, NEW ZEALAND
Fed by natural pure glaciers, the water in these magnificent pools is the deepest azure blue, and so translucent, it provides you a crystal clear view right to the bottom.
Fields of Gold, and more
All the world over, Mother Nature is busy brandishing her paintbrush, creating her own mesmerizing palettes filled with blooms, blades of green grass, and rows upon rows of respondence. Here are some of our favorite fields of gold, and beyond. Feel free to jump on in and post your own favorite fields, and coinciding palette creations!
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LAVENDER FIELDS, FRANCE
The summer months find the rolling lavender fields of Provence in France near to bursting with bright purple blooms spreading as far as the eye can see.
SHIBAZAKURA HILL, JAPAN
Spring finds the fields at the base of Mount Fuji springing up and “blushing” with near endless mountains of moss blooms, also known as shibazakura.
This section of Eastern China boasts sprawling farmlands filled with a golden sea of canola blooms, when the yellow sunlit-shaded crop is in season.
TULIP FIELDS, HOLLAND
Spring is the prime time to catch Holland’s famed and immaculately manicured tulip, daffodil and hyacinth fields in full bloom.
SUNFLOWER FIELDS, TUSCANY
These bright and joyful beauties abound throughout Tuscany's rolling hillsides.
DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN, UAE
The Dubai Miracle Garden is found in the district of Dubailand in the United Arab Emirates. First debuted officially on Valentine's Day in 2013, this colorful and vibrantly-hued garden spans over 72,000 square meters--a massive spread that marks it as the world's largest natural flower garden, boasting more than 109 million blooms.
FLOWER FIELDS OF FURANO, JAPAN
Furano is famous for its lavender fields, but numerous assortments of buds, blooms, and other flowers are spread throughout the region, beginning to bloom in May, and offering a warm and welcoming greeting to guests visiting the area.
COLORFUL KEUKENHOF GARDENS, HOLLAND
Keukenhof is said by many as being among the most beautiful spring gardens across the globe, with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths smiling happily at visitors across the garden's more than 32 hectares infused with vibrant color and lovely floral aromas.
They're here! Meet the latest design pack on Pixlr web and mobile apps - The COLOURlovers Expansion Pack!
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These design ideas were the result of our awesome, COLOURlovers + Pixlr #PixlrPop Contest held at the end of May. The result was eight (8) winning entries that went to inspiration for what is referred to as, Expansion Pack Overlays on Pixlr web, desktop and mobile apps. Overlay packs generally feature unique artwork set to varied styled effects similar to those in design programs (i.e. Photoshop). This means that some of the artwork is set to modes such as: Lighten, Multiply, Soft Light, Hard Light and so on. This changes their interaction with the artwork you use.
Here is a quick example how you can use the COLOURlovers Overlays Expansion Pack with a clean portrait to create a trendy double exposure artwork. I used this beautiful black and white portrait (via Pinterest search, "Portraits") for the example images.
I highly recommend fiddling around with a clean black and white portrait when designing double exposure and/or overlay types.
"Loulouflor" by Anonymuse
"SPRING2013" by SUNNY21327
"Zebra" by addabarrios
"Orange Loves you px" by bhsav
"Historic Arrest" by Huege
As you can see these turned out pretty neat! Each style has a specific personality that really creates some terrific effects. Check it out for yourself!
- 1. Go to Pixlr Express
- 2. Load your own image, or go find an easy portrait to work with, the one I used is at this link. (hint: right click + "open image in a new tab" works great to not grab the page link, instead you just want the link to the image itself.
- 3. You'll see the little COLOURlovers icon and you can start editing!
- *Big Tip: Add an effect then erase sections with the History Brush, then go back and add more overlay effects....
Would you like a video tutorial? Let me know!
The Maasai are one of the most well known Indigenous people of Africa. Their colorful attire and unique customs highlight their vibrant culture located in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania.
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Have you ever wondered as to the symbolism and social meanings behind their vibrantly beadwork?
"The beaded jewelry made by the Maasai women is a tradition from the Maasai tribe, located in Southern Kenya. The Maasai have been creating beaded jewelry for a very long time. It all started long before the first European contact had occurred. At the time, the tribe used natural resources to create their jewelry. Clay, wood, bone, copper and brass are just few of the materials that were used. When trade with Europeans started in the late 19th century, glass beads were suddenly available, and it is with those that the Maasai decided to continue their tradition of beaded jewels....The colors of the jewels are not only chosen because of the beautiful ensembles they make, but also for their symbolic values. Each color has a meaning that is often related to cattle. Cattle are the main food source of the Maasai and they sustain a deep connection with them. " - Discovered.us
I am really impressed that the Maasai Culture still exits in our world today. With their unwavering culturally-rich history, American culture pales in comparison with our ever-changing fashion trends and cultural whims. They definitely have a deeply rooted culture one can't help but be impressed by.
Check out the Maasai on COLOURlovers:
The illustrative world of Botany is so intriguing. Aside from the scientific points, you can learn so much in color use, shape and form and line work. It gets you to pay attention to the fine details of design rather than just the overall idea of say, a flower.
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Today I've got a video that follows a botanical design from start to finish. In this video I showcase how you can utilize blending, shading, outlining and a few tricks altogether.
Here are my finished pattern template and primary shape used to make this video:
Here are a number of shading and blending elements you can develop using multiple squeezed shapes mashed together and saved as a Custom Shape to re-use:
Would you find it valuable for me to make an entire video on making shading and blending elements such as these? The more complex shape, Shade - Hatching (above), is a series of squeezed dew-drop shape (found under the Sky Shapes category), then I used a stretched and modified crescent shape (same category) to round out the base.
You can create any number of shading and blending custom shapes. I find it useful to create ones with longer lines, shorter lines, longer in width, curved bases (curved bases help streamline elements for floral designs). Having them on hand really cuts down on time when you want to be artistic and not spend all your time making the shading pieces at the same time.
Get Inspiration from Anatomic Botanical Illustration
While you can peruse the shapes and patterns all over COLOURlovers.com, that's good for practice but copying work for practice will not allow you to create your own sense of style and imagination. Instead, after giving a little practice a go... knowing where to look for ideas is key.
Anatomic Illustration is really quite interesting because it generally pieces off organic matter such as flowers, plants, insects, etc. and definitively shows nice line and color work enough for you to turn those art pieces in to a Seamless Lite pattern design in your own reflection.
Pinterest Boards to utilize as resources for inspirational imagery:
- * Anatomic Illustrations Pinterest collection by Martina Leitschuh
- * Zentangle Flowers Search on Pinterest
- * Zentangle Vines & Leaves Search on Pinterest
- * Illustrated Botanicals Pinterest collection by Lyn Voyterschark
- * My own Seamless Patterns - Botany collection on Pinterest
I would take some time to peruse through these links and just practice drawing and saving shapes and build up your library. Don't put pressure on yourself for making some fancy pattern, literally just spend an hour making 5+ types of vines and leaves. Then work on petals and flowers.... and so on. Once you do a ton of drawing practice, move in to putting some of those elements in to a pattern design. Remember, a good pattern does not have to have a thousand different elements. A good pattern consists of:
- * Start with a main element of interest (or create vines and work on the seamless connections - this falls under the "stripes" type of patterns).
- * Connect it with some type of line-work such as vines or decorated lines (add bubbles, triangles, etc along the line like dew-drops on a vine).
- * Use the Diagonal Axis rather than limiting yourself to the Artboard "boxy" Square
Great Examples of Seamless Lite Botanical Shapes for Inspiration:
See many more great flower designs! I basically set the search results on CL to "flower" under the dropdown, Shapes option.
Zentangle has been trending for some years now and many people choose to "tangle" for meditation and relaxation, just as most COLOURlovers utilize the palette and pattern tools on the site as a way of relaxing and meditating.
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What I see a lot on COLOURlovers.com is that many people shy far away from using Seamless Lite after dabbling for a few, deeming it way too difficult to master. Mostly, and this is just my opinion, but well mostly because they compare themselves to the crazy-good pattern designs by veteran citizens of COLOURlovers.
Let me remind you... take a big breath and a big step back. Let's start over...
Here's the news people... yes, yes these kind-hearted artists are totally talented. But did it just happen that they opened up Seamless Lite and were Michelangelo in a day? No, of course not! So you'd be silly to think,"I'm Presto Perfect!" after 5-minutes or even 5-hours fiddling with Seamless Lite.
Seamless is actually pretty easy to use, once you learn the ropes (if you are new here and need an in-depth intro to Seamless, see a video here on our YouTube Channel). Drawing shapes and putting together repeat-patterns is totally an aspect of digital Zentangle without the complications of learning (or purchasing) design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
Seamless is simple and to the point, not to mention it comes with an entire supportive and artistic community you can share your work with.
Remember, Zentangle is a personal art form. It does not have to be perfect. While you can achieve a more precise line-work by using this digital method of Seamless Lite, Zentangle is traditionally a hand-drawn technique, so take that in to consideration before you go all OCD on connecting points, center points and alignment.
Let's get started with making a shape, something short and easy... then I will be going over using a grid to help you get a sense of space, alignment and design direction with your templates.... then we will continue to work on shapes and more.
Create a "Wishbomb" Shape:
Making and Using Custom Grids for Design Layout:
I find that making your own base layer grid and then saving it as a shape to re-use can greatly help line things up a bit more precise.
Note: After making the next two video's, I felt that making a video specifically for Grids would be a good idea. The next video semi-introduces making a grid as well.
Make a Grid to Create a Consistent Geometric Pattern (then delete the grid):
Re-Use the Grid in a Circle Zentangle Pattern:
I want to show you how to now reuse the grid shape you should have created if you'd followed the last video (above) and to develop a new pattern form with the grid as a guide.
Examples & Inspiration: Grid-Based Designs:
Now let's Create A Vine:
Never used Seamless Lite Before? Get up to speed!
Just a reminder, if you have no idea what I am doing in some of these area's of using Seamless Lite, you can watch the video introduction on this at your leisure HERE. This covers a complete anatomy of the web application itself and is a more in-depth tutorial with voice-over (not a high-speed musical).
Let's Tangle Next Week! We'll be covering Outlining, Shading and Adding Detail...
If you absolutely cannot wait until next week, I will be working on and uploading these video's over the weekend to our COLOURlovers YouTube Channel, join me there to get a jumpstart!
- *Advanced Grids for More Technical Layouts
- * Add Design Elements to Your Basic Grid Designs
- *Make Simple Look Complex
- *Outlining Tricks
- *Shading Tricks
Is there something you are wanting me to cover, but haven't seen it yet? Please comment to put in a request. I'm more than happy to accommodate.
**Copy + Paste the Badge below if you have a design you want to know how to make, be realistic. ;)
Tie-Dye, a modern textile craft, is something that has been around for ages and will be around for many more moons to come. Always intriguing, always a new spin off the same basic concept, done in a rainbow of hues to monochromatic intrigues. And while we're on the topic, check out the Rainbow Contest over at Instrucables right now (awesome art prizes). All types of submissions are acceptable, so have some fun with it!
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Tie-Dye became popular in the United States of our more modern world in the late 1960's and heavily saturated the 1970's which sort of branded it to the times and people of "Free Love", tripping on Acid and LSD.
"Although shibori and batik techniques were used occasionally in Western fashion before the 1960s, modern psychedelic tie-dying did not become a fad until the late 1960s following the example set by rock stars such as Janis Joplin and John Sebastian (who did his own dyeing)." ~ Wikipedia
Tie-Dye mostly went in to hiding with the outrageously new Neon trends during the 80's and 90's. Then, along with every popular known trend of each era, it was brought back and re-hashed in our Pop Culture of today's fashion sphere.
If you don't know what modern, American Tie-dye is, you might be living under a rock, but here is a great resource on the technique and style if you've never looked it up.
So how did it literally become an American craft to be readily found in stores everywhere - I love this part. Basically, Tie-Dye came about when a company was trying to save it's brand. RIT® dye, at the time was losing momentum with their prime market clientele, older generation females doing home-dying.
"At the time, RIT® dye was starting to lose it's market; primarily older women that dyed home goods." - Dharma Article, Did you Know...?
Without getting in to too much detail on the actual specifics because I think that [ one of my favorite online dye resources ] the Dharma Trading Company impressively covered the textbook attributes of this really well in their article, Did You Know: Is Tie-Dye An American Art Form?
"Artists, opinion leaders, and influencers took to tie-dying almost as if it were a new psychedelic substance. Janis Joplin began wearing tie dye (it was even rumored she wore tie-dye panties) but it was still confined to a small circle of users. The next stop was the fashion industry but they weren't convinced it was anything more then a local fad. About this time, folks heard about a musical gathering that was to take place in rural Woodstock, New York, and it was going to be a big event (understatement of the decade!). Two of the well-known artists in the Village wanted to tie-dye several hundred T-shirts and give them away at the concert. RIT financed the project. Thousands of people showed up at Woodstock from across the country and the tie-dye T-shirts were eye-catching. The idea caught on…big. Joe Cocker, Mama Cass, Janis Joplin all wore tie-dye. Tie-dye became a symbol of antiestablishmentarianism, as no one else could have the same shirt as you even if they used the same colors. It was a statement of being an individual." - Read More... How the Fashion Industry finally took it seriously...
I could quite literally quote this entire article it's so interesting and well written. I'll leave the quotes to that, but how amazing to see how a pretty modern fad became a huge trend over trying to save a brand name product.
In summary, basically the traditional methods, techniques and practices of the tie-dye movement from the 1960's and 70's we know of here in the USA were brought over from African traditional art to save a brand name. Amazing!
Video Tutorial: Create Your Own Tie-Dye in Seamless Lite (to Janis Joplin)
Feel free to use this exact technique to practice and get the hang of it! :)
Templates You Can Tie-Dye Yourself - Show me what you've got!
Do you have a favorite template that works for tie-dye? Please share!
Explore Tie-Dye on COLOURlovers:
Disney•Pixar has outdone themselves (again) in their latest colorfully animated movie, Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter (who also produced UP and Monster’s Inc.) and coming to the big screen on June 19th! The basis of the storyline develops a genuine visual of feelings portrayed in five specific colors that correlate in to emotions.
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Who's excited?! I know I am!
In leu of this extremely colorful production being explicitly about color in connection with feelings, we felt it appropriate to dig in to the collections COLOURlovers have in color.
Image Palette Sources:
Much of the community here on COLOURlovers relate their communication of feelings in to colors both as a single color name or in palettes that speak either by the palette name itself and/or a message within the colors used to create the palette. Palettes can be defined of anything regarding 2 to 5 colors grouped together.
Meet the Emotions!
For your entertainment, I love these video clips put together putting the actor-voices to the animated characters.
Learn Basics: How to Create a Color Palette From an Image using PHOTOCOPA
I threw together an under 2-minute quick-guide video to the theme music of Inside Out.
Here's Your Color Challenge! Post YOUR Emotional Colors:
What's your color coordinated emotional palette and why?