What is a Tetrachromat Artist?

The Tetrachromat Artist functions at a master artist level. They have been discovered and confirmed to have the genotype for Tetrachromacy – possessing four color receptors in the eyes – and with this gift they are able to define dramatically more color than the average human vision.

It is important to note that they should have spent their life pursing art and pursuing the exploration of color. Tetrachromacy is a developed genotype, much like people born with a genotype for superior muscle building fiber, or any other gift. Tetrachromacy must be developed. If those born with superior muscle fiber, never took up a sport or became athletes then they may never learn of their super human trait. Such as with Tetrachromacy. It must be used, developed. If those born with the fourth receptor gene never pursued a life and career filled with color, such as fine art, then they would have missed the chance to develop their skill to its maximum potential.

In the case of a Tetrachromat Artist, the physical process should be extraordinary when in production, the final result equally extraordinary. The way they resolve varieties in color is amplified. They are able to produce images onto canvas in a fraction of the time it would take a similarly seasoned artist. This ability to swiftly and visually isolate and define particularities of colors in a split-second is a super vision trait. Tetrachromat Artists are able to resolve and create colors from their carefully selected and color matched palates in an instant; similar to the way a computer algorithm behaves. Why even the selection of the manufactured color tubes of paint to use for a subject is a tetrachromat gift. As a result, paint application is markedly fast, deft and color filled and fluid brush strokes. Additionally accurate value (shade of color) identification allows for realistic, albeit, Impressionistic results in moments. Large canvases are filled in brief periods with ease and accuracy. The juxtaposition of color and use of color filled lights and shadows, often complementary in color use, create a 3D affect that is said to vibrate or “move” on the canvas.

How are others in the “Tetrachromatism” genre defined?

First of all, anyone in the art genre Tetrachromatism should have been defined as having the genotype for Tetrachromacy. They should have had a lifelong immersion with color and value to be able to fully exercise and perfect the skills needed to express their gift of color resolve. The genre may more frequently will be expressed by fine artists, more likely in the oil paint medium as it is possesses the greatest range of color in the paint family and is the most fluid and slow drying allowing for a greater ability to meld creating subtle nuances of color.

The painting process would typically be performed in the alla prima or direct method to allow for greater speed of application. The Tetrachromat Artist’s nearly mechanical abilities will remove the need for any type of color corrections, touch-ups or other modifications to the work once the paint has been placed. This too is a rare trait for an artist. One and done – no reworking. Pointedly, this is what makes Tetrachromatism so astonishing. The work is primarily completed with a single application. One attempt with perfect maximum color and value selection. As a Tetrachromat, the artist is an expert at defining color and does not need to think twice about mixing and resolving the exact colors that exist. As these colors are only found in nature, a Tetrachromat Artist can singularly showcase the truth of Earth’s true color brilliancy like no other artist can.

Reiterating, “divine” colors can only be found in nature so the Tetrachromat Artist’s subject matter will commonly feature natural earth derived objects. Water, birds, fish and animals, trees, plants and flowers, sky and earth, rocks, humans et al, are the images that will commonly be portrayed. Since high functioning Tetrachromacy reveals all the colors in the natural world, the Tetrachromatism genre will replicate earth’s true visual reality, that which regular human vision cannot see. As a Tetrachromat Artist this may be performed in either the alla prima mode, with natural still life objects, in studio or preferably as and en plein air practice, painting outdoors, where nature is available and therefore easier to capture on canvas.

Upon viewing a Tetrachromat Artist’s work, a certain “vibration” and greater 3-D depth can be noted. Eye-popping clean use of color and value. No reworking allowed so the final work appears life-like with its brilliant colors. The juxtaposition of color will stimulated all receptors providing for a emotionally satisfying view.

What are the consequences of a Tetrachromat Artist?

There are varied consequences to being Tetrachromat Artist. To start with, an exactness is a blessing and a curse. No color choice can be taken lightly, everything in daily life, and particularly with art and color choices and matches must be scrutinized. A fastidiousness with color arises. Frustration can and does arise. Alternatively, there is no challenge using manufactured colors to make nature’s colors when the Tetrachromat Artist’s acuteness for color combined with the artist’s ability to identify and mix it! The is never be a color or value (shade) that cannot be created by the Tetrachromat Artist. The colors mixed will be accurate of the subject being transferred on canvas.

Another consequence arises when color mixing when utilizing manufactured brand paint is actually helpful. Using less tube paint on a palette allows the artist to create more colors. These tube colors can be mixed to accurately create the authentic but replicate able color and value of what is being reproduced. Mother Nature is a wonderful artist and her authentic colors, unfortunately, cannot be pre-made. The Tetrachromat Artist can see even the smallest nuances of color and value in the subject and can mix them in the most accurate way with no hesitation on their own selected palette oil tubes.

Secondly, the genre should not be written off as a “stylistic choice.” The true style of a Tetrachromat Artist is embedded into the genotype, as with what defines style amongst other human qualities. Living immersed in vibrant and varied color, along with seeing the accurate myriad of colors everyday, a Tetrachromat Artist is obliged to paint them. Therefore color behavior and stylistic actions become apparent. Technically, qualities in the artwork will point to an extra color receptor. The work will reveal an authentic reflection of what the colorful world looks like to a Tetrachromat Artist, what it looks like in authentic color, and in reality. As it is hard to know which persons can truly see what the Tetrachromat Artist sees in nature, it will be important to the artist that they may see true color through their artwork. To be able to fully share their creativity of color and portray their self expression fully, a desire will arise to meet others with the same genotype.

In conclusion, the life and art of a Tetrachromat Artist can be isolating as few will see the world’s beauty the way they can. They see what they see in the world, and will do their best to share it by portraying it in paint. Through fine art, they can reveal to everyone the colorful beauty truly exists on the earth. They can also instruct others to resolve more colors too, within their spectrum through close observation and demonstration, as with the teaching of art. Many students of a Tetrachromat Artist can attest to this.

What is the viewer seeing in a Tetrachromat work?

The viewer should be seeing color like they have never experienced before. Many may say, “joy emanates from the work” or “ it speaks to me” or “it appears alive.” They should see a reality unlike anything they have experienced and other art may seem flatter, more devoid of color and will incite less emotion in them. It will captivate less. Viewers may feel as though something spiritual was visually speaking to them. Colorblind persons will note they see more color than they usually do when viewing art, as the fourth receptor use of more color will bridge a color gap for them.


  • The Tetrachromat Artist will have been scientifically studied and be genetically tested and confirmed to possess the genotype.
  • They will have had a lifelong career as a fine artist or some other form of colorist, more particularly as a master painter.
  • They will show brevity in stroke & an “Impressionistic” style portraying the essence of the subject.
  • Application with speed and accuracy – “one and done” method, large canvases filled quickly.
  • Need for less manufactured tube colors to be able to create MORE with limited palette selection as well as ease with selection of base/tube colors.
  • Strong use of color-filled light and shadow may dominate the work.
  • Colors will reveal strong complementaries as well as subtle nuances of color-filled grays.
  • There will be more varied color expressed in each object.
  • A preference for oil-based painted work may prevail which provides unmatched color brilliance, variety and flexibility of application.
  • Preponderance for alla prima (direct method, wet into wet paint application) when working in studio with natural objects.
  • Preference for en plein air (outdoor painting) to capture the colors in nature.
  • Appearance to others of a “vibration” in the work, alive feeling.
  • Authentic Tetrachromat Artist style based in the physical attribute of seeing more color and working fast.
  • Feelings of isolation and desire to show work to other Tetrachromats to satisfy desire to share fully what they see.

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