A miniature painting, as the name signifies, is an intricate, colorful illuminations or painting, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. The colors used in miniatures are generally derived from natural sources and materials. Some of the paintings use pure gold and other precious gems and stones to extract the colors for beautifying these miniature paintings. India has a long and varied tradition of miniature paintings.
And, its never been more important to know your colors. Why? Because color is back in a big way! Just look at the vast variety of colors in the department stores.
THE NARRATIVE. First look for the narrative, simply describe what you see. Who or what is depicted, what's going on? If you see people and things, the painting is figurative; if you see lines and splashes - go for non-figurative. The name of the painting might come in handy, especially when it comes to Dali. What seems to be more important for the artist - representation or expression? Compare the paintings in the styles of hyperrealism and expressionism - you can always tell if the images look idealized or expressly distorted. Notice the feelings you get looking at the painting, the general impression produced by the entire painting and its elements - later you will dig deeper to understand what inspired those emotions. There is a reason why you like one painting more than the other. Your taste in art is as unique as your taste in food or clothes, inspired by your background, upbringing and even professional expertise.
Step three: go online and study the basics of shadow and light. It's a visual thing, and too complicated to talk about here. But once you see it, it'll come to you quickly. Simply Google "shadow and light in painting" and the basics will come up. Once you know these rules, you can apply it to any shape, any form, any painting. And it'll make you keenly aware of shadow and light on virtually any object on earth. It's what makes a painting three- dimensional and expensive looking. You can also buy art books on shadow and light at any bookstore. But make sure you sit down for a couple of hours and study it. It will come quickly to you, I promise.
Another popular color wheel called the Munsell color wheel, is slightly more involved. Instead of 6 basic colors, the Munsell wheel consists of ten colors: red, yellow-red, yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, red-violet and violet.
Colors that are equally removed from a reference color are triadic colors. Since these color schemes can become too intense, unless they are very toned down, they are very problematic to manage. This color combination works well in a child's room, and it can be used effectively in a kitchen.
COMPLIMENTARY COLORS. These are colors that are opposite from one another on the color wheel. Red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet, are examples of complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are colors of extreme contrast. When used together in a painting, they can produce brilliant vibrant images.