Colorblind Marine Artist?

Yes, you heard it right, I’m a colorblind marine artist. It came as a shock to me when I first found it out. I began wondering if the art I have created looks the same to everyone else as it does to me. Then I began contemplating whether to stop painting certain colors or not. I started looking at my art, and the world for that matter in a different light. Could it be that my eyes have been lying to me my entire life? I recall coloring a picture for a contest in grade school of the new community pool. The scene depicted an arial shot of the pool, full of kids splashing and having a great time. In fact, I actually drew wet footprints on the concrete of one kid who had to run to the bathroom! I thought it was pretty darn clever! My teacher, however, scoffed.
“You know, water isn’t purple!” she said.
Huh? Purple? You mean I spent all morning coloring my masterpiece, the one that was to win me and my friends season tickets to the new community pool, the COLOR PURPLE??!!
And so it begins. Both my love of the water and with art. For the next twenty years I couldn’t really tell the difference between blue and purple, or certain greens from brown, pink, grey, or yellow. I took an online colorblind test with my wife recently and found that I do infact see the world different from her.
If you are interested in seeing my art through my eyes, click here:
Colorblind Artist: What I See.


9 thoughts on “Colorblind Marine Artist?

  1. Very good paintings. I am an colorblind artist too, often very skeptical to myself if it is worth going on painting if they are looking weird to other people and they do not tell my honestly.
    My paintings are very the same looking as yours, I got new inspiration thanks to you.
    Finland, Helsinki

  2. Hi,
    Your artwork is beautiful and, as a colorblind art student, I find it inspiring. I’ve started a blog as a forum for colorblind artists, students and illustrators. If you have a moment, please check it out and consider responding to any of the questions (each post is a question)–it would help to know about your experiences and how you’ve managed to make your art despite your color deficiency. Thanks.

  3. Well im looking to going into art I was a student pilot. I was prity good went to a university and there they told me that I could not be a good pilot becouse i am tooclorblind. oh well. I am building up my protfolio and I will see what happens.

  4. I am impressed by the painting featured but wonder why if you see colours differently to other people you don’t paint accurate colours. i.e. the water is blue but you see it as purple, so when going to your paint pallet you look for purple (to me blue) therefore what you paint with is actually blue paint? does this make sense?

    Keep up the good work

  5. Hi Cheryl,
    Actually when I see purple, my eyes omit the red spectrum. So purple looks blue to me. The blues I see are in fact, your blue. However it is hard for me to discern purple from blue. Also, red is not as vivid to me as it is with most folks.
    Furthermore, I know water is blue so it is easy for me to place my blue hues on my pallet in the same place every time and know what I am choosing is blue. Oh yeah that and if I have any problems I can ask my wife for help! 🙂

    Thanks for posting!

  6. Try experimenting with red and green filters. Any red or green clear plastic will allow you to identify reds and greens. Craft stores have red and green clear plastic.

    The red filter will make all red appear bright orange, even if it is in small amounts like a brown. Green through the red filter will appear dark and grayed down. Easy to identify.

    Give it a try, you wil be amazed

  7. Hi Jim,
    That is a great idea. I have read much about the ‘rose colored glasses’ some colorblind folks have tried and actually purchased a pair of sunglasses with red tinted lenses. I was amazed at just how red some things actually are!

  8. Hi Chris,
    cool blog. I’m currently researching other colourblind artists, because I also realised I am one of them. I study Filmmaking and Time Based Art and recently started colour correcting my video. Sometimes when I’m not sure about the hues, I drop my saturation a little bit. i been told by few people that it created a very interesting effect. I guess the key is never to give up! 😀

    I’m currently doing an installation piece based on voluntary colour-blind and non-colourblind participants. The task is for everyone of them to write names of colours in their assigned colours and project them on the screen, the game for the audience is to find out, who was colourblind. It might happen that some of the audience will have trouble themselves. The aim is to find out how we can use colourblindness to enhance the world of video and art making.

    If you’re interested, please visit my blog! 😀


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