Angelika Biber is known for her atmospheric, often abstract acrylic paintings. Here she explains how she harmonizes colors and design in her pictures in orderto createan atmospheric whole .

Light, colors and your own mood

The atmosphere of a picture depends very much on the light in the picture and the light depends on the colors used. But your current mood usually also plays a major role. We often choose colors that are comfortable for us. We use it to convey our own mood , perhaps even unconsciously .

Beaver, mood in picture 6

Sometimes we also use certain colors when painting because we have special associations or memories or because they are simply good for us at the moment. Blue areas tend to leave us alone because they cautiously go into the distance. With orange-red pictures, the room feels a few degrees warmer.

Beaver, mood in picture 7
The warm red and yellow tones of autumn come into direct contact with the viewer. The mood is positive.

Color combinations and contrasts

With special, own color combinations we can very easily express our personal style , because the color is the first thing that affects us when we look at a picture.
But the way in which colors are combined and placed next to each other also influences the mood in the picture. Are the colored areas rather sharply delimited from one another or distorted softly and foggy? Are the colors very opaque or more transparent? And how strong are the contrasts? Little, like in a fog? Or strong, like in glaring sunlight with strong shadows?

Angelika Biber is currently experimenting with new lighting situations in her pictures in order to depict interesting moods. Usually she works with a lot of color. Nevertheless, she dares an experiment every now and then and paints with her actually strange colors. But more on that later.

Beaver, mood in picture 4
The blue and green tones typical of a seascape result in a rather cool color tone.

In this picture with a bitumen fill, naturalistic color tones that are classic for a sea picture and have a rather cool color tone were used. The picture looks fresh and just as you would imagine in clear weather by the sea. The contrasts between light and dark create tension , but otherwise the design is unspectacular.

Focus in the picture

The mood is a little different in this example. Here, too, the colors are not expressively alienated. By using cloudy and pure colors, the atmosphere is a little more differentiated . The sky is made of cloudy blue-gray and looks foggy and diffuse. The foreground is more intensely colored and therefore stands out more. The special focus, however, is on the horizon, which is given special attention through the use of fluorescent yellow, orange and pink tones . The yellow accents also look like they are being lit by the sun. It could look like this on a hot, hazy, humid day when the sun’s rays push their way through the cloud cover in a few places.

Beaver, mood in picture 2
The fluorescent yellow, orange and pink tones between the tinted sky and the green foreground focus the gaze on the horizon.

In order to create an evening mood and at the same time to focus on the sky , in this picture I have resorted to warmer and yet bright colors, which I have distorted in many layers of cloudy on the sky. Due to the pink-yellow component, the clouds shine very intensely and this special mood is reflected in the colors of the horizon.

Beaver, mood in picture 1
The warm colors of the clouds create a spectacular evening atmosphere. The viewer’s gaze is on the sky.


Here Angelika Biber dares to experiment with partially achromatic colors . She says: “Did you think this picture was not from me? I definitely felt the same way when I painted it. 😉The colors are not exactly typical for me, but I still wanted to demonstrate to you what the effect of such a color scheme is. It took a bit of effort, I’ll admit it. “

Beaver, mood in picture 5
The achromatic colors are not at all typical for Angelika Biber. Nevertheless, it has added a strong contrast to the turquoise tone on the horizon.

Despite the deviation from her color scheme, she couldn’t help but build in a strong contrast between the light, fresh light blue and the cloudy gray-beige tones. This contrast should at least breath some tension and life into the picture . The picture would have looked even more diffuse and foggy without the Payne’s gray accents on the horizon. This is how you can imagine a cloudy wintry day at the sea.

Angelika Biber’s favorite is this picture with a spectacular mood . “In terms of the color scheme, it suits me completely and I love this mood and radiance that seems to glow from within.” The warm colors are sometimes purer, sometimes broken and are enhanced with cool yellow. She achieved the luminosity through thinly glazed layers with neon pink and neon orange. The dark area with umber-colored ink on the horizon forms a further contrast and thus focus. This is how she imagines a sun-drenched landscape in the south.

Beaver, mood in picture 3
The warm yellow and orange tones are sometimes pure, sometimes broken. They are made even more vivid by the cool yellow and the dark accents on the horizon.

Deliberately paint different moods

How about working consciously with different moods in the picture? For that there are different possibilities:

  • Enhance the light and dark areas in the picture : The contrast is more pronounced and it looks like light reflections next to shadow areas.
  • Make the light areas warmer, the dark areas cooler: If the light areas are partly set with different yellow or warm colors and the shade tones are not black or gray, but rather purple or cooler colors, this increases the mood. In addition, this creates a strengthening of the complementary contrast (yellow – violet).
  • alienating the colors: It can be very interesting to break away from the naturalistic depiction and to experiment with the color tones, regardless of whether you are working objectively or abstractly. This often makes the images more vivid and expressive.

Have fun with all experiments. Let the color flow!