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Taking your first steps into higher education
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Has a wide or narrow palette of colours been used?

The word palette is used when describing the number of different colours that are present in an artwork. A painting with many different colours – for example, Chris Ofili’s Afrodizzia (Resource booklet [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   Plate 7) – can be said to feature a wide palette of colours.

Having identified the variety of colours that have been used in an artwork, it is important to explore the effects of this. In Afrodizzia, for example, the wide colour palette might be seen to convey a sense of confusion, giving no clues about which part of the painting to focus on first. It might also be seen to contribute to a joyous or cheerful feel. In my response to Activity 4, I described Afrodizzia as being ‘psychedelic’ and ‘colourful’. Clearly, the colours had an immediate impact on me. It is also worth mentioning, as a contextual element, the deliberate wordplay in the title – aphrodisia might signify some representation of the arousing of sexual desire.