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Coziness in Art

I think everyone can agree that being cozy is pretty great, but how can this feeling of

coziness be depicted within art and media? Many different artists and creatives have been able

to depict this, such as Van Gogh and Studio Ghibli. It is fairly easy to show happiness or

sadness in art, but coziness is not as easy. I can paint a painting of a puppy being sad, and

people viewing the painting will feel sad, but when I try to make the viewer feel cozy, I have to

use a little more nuance in my approach. I believe you can elicit this feeling through two things:

common items/activities correlated to comfort and specific color pairings.


The “easiest” way to go about eliciting the feeling of comfort is depicting items and activities that

are usually correlated with comfort. Items/activities like sweaters, reading a book under a

blanket, and drinking warm tea can all elicit this feeling of comfort. The best recent example of

this would be the 24/7 livestream, “lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax and study to." The visuals

include a girl in a sweater studying as a light rain falls outside her window. A cat also sits idly by

watching outside as the girl quietly studies while chill music plays. All of these aspects put

together create a visually comfortable environment that the viewer can feel. I can go on and on

about this specifically, but this part should be a given.


Usage of color is the second way, and it is fairly harder to get this part right compared to just

putting common items in. To create the feeling of comfort, you have to use colors that don't

clash with each other and are not too harsh. Soft yellow lights surrounded by dark blues are

frequently used in art pieces that can be perceived as “comfy." The painting Cafe Terrace at

Night by Van Gogh is quite possibly my favorite example of this. The patrons at the cafe are

engulfed in yellow, sitting around chatting while the night surrounds them with various shades of

blue. Maybe it is just me, but if this painting was set in the day, I feel like it would lose the cozy

vibe that it is giving off. Don't get me wrong, daytime can still give off comfortable feelings, but

painting scenes during the night time makes it so much more easy to elicit the feeling of

coziness.


Coziness within art intrigues me greatly because it takes a decent amount of skill and creativity

to figure out ways to implement it within your work. Sometimes the subject of the painting can

carry this feeling, but sometimes you will have to put some work in with colors to really make it

pop. Hopefully you can now go out and create “cozy” paintings with the little knowledge I

shared.

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