Paint inspiration: Ken Howard RA

By Amy Macpherson

Published 14 May 2014

Ken Howard RA's range of interior paints created specially for the Royal Academy is inspired by his beloved Venice, a city where he has had a studio for the past 10 years.

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  • The city has long been a painter's paradise: "Because there's so much water you get all this incredible light," Howard says.

    "Venice never lets you down. Whistler, the American painter, actually said 'Venice is a winter city' and when you go to Venice in the winter you're still incredibly stimulated.

    "I think it's the same with colours. Whether they are relatively neutral or relatively strong, they're stimulating in their own way."

    In the videos below, Ken Howard introduces his palette of RA Paints and discusses the inspiration behind them - from the dark grey of water on stone, to the earthy red of the blinds that shield the fish of the Pescheria Market from the sun.

    "No matter how many times I've been, I always spend my first day just walking round soaking up Venice again. I hope these colours are about the 'soaking up' of Venice."

  • Video

    Ken Howard RA talks about colour: Part 1

  • Video

    Ken Howard RA talks about colour: Part 2

  • Video

    Ken Howard RA talks about colour: Part 3

  • The new RA paint range features four palettes consisting of a total of 56 shades. Three of the palettes have been selected by Academicians: Will Alsop, David Mach, and Ken Howard. The fourth palette features colours that have been used on the gallery walls during Royal Academy exhibitions.

    To find out more, visit www.colourandpaint.com.

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