Color TRACK: Lesson 6, Movie Still Palette


1. Choose a still from a movie or TV series with a color palette that interests you. Why that color palette? Does it establish a mood, an atmosphere, a look you would like to explore?

Euphoria (2019 HBO Series)

2. Take that still and make a palette (digital or traditional media) that you can use as a reference.

Color palette
Color palette from Euphoria (2019 HBO Series)

3. Create an artwork using only colors in that palette.


Seraphim, Anna, Staley

Subject matter

The subject matter is up to you! If you can’t paint from life, we recommend shooting your own reference photos so you can control the image, lighting, and color.

Or, we have plenty to choose from on our free reference photo collection on Flickr.

Jellyfish 07
Flickr album: Jellyfish


Film & TV show recommendations


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Kirikou and the Sorceress, Fantastic Mr. Fox, In the Mood for Love, Euphoria

Art Media

Any paint medium, you can reference our supply lists for items we recommend: watercolorgouacheacryl gouacheacrylicoilswater mixable oils, liquid watercoloralcohol inks

thumbnail sketches

We recommend doing about 6 small thumbnail sketches to explore a diverse range of options for your composition. Start your first thumbnail sketches with line and think about how you want to place your subject onto the page.

Adding color to your thumbnail sketches is especially important so you can work out how you will use your color palette!

Landscapes & Backgrounds Track: Grocery Store Thumbnail Sketches

How To Create Color Palettes

Planning a color scheme for an artwork is an effective way to achieve visual cohesion and intent in your artwork. Color schemes are an effective way of establishing a mood in a painting, as well as creating visual contrast and textures.

There are many ways to collect ideas for color schemes and apply them to your creative process. Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Lauryn Welch lead this discussion.

42 min. video

Elements of Art: Color

Color is one of the Elements of Art that is essential to a work of art. Here is an overview of the various components of color to be considered: saturation, value, contrast, complementary color pairswarm & cool colors, and more.

This video provide examples of contemporary art and images from art history where texture plays an integral role. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Lauryn Welch and Jordan McCracken-Foster.

45 min. video