Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Art Supply Posse

Dec 28, 2018

​​All the Colours and Beyond - Tetrachromacy with Concetta Antico

Kim Interviews Concetta Antico. Artist, art teacher and true tetrachromat. Concetta can see up to 100 million more colours than almost anyone else in the world. Concetta’s abilities have been verified scientifically, and researched for six years, at the time of this interview.

Support Art Supply Posse and get bonus episodes

Concetta has been using her unique gift for 25 years to teach others how to see more colours and to paint in oils.

Most people have three colour receptors. We are generally trichromats. Tetrachromacy is a genetic mutation, resulting in a fourth colour receptor. However, having the fourth colour receptor does not make someone a true tetrachromat. Among the very few tetrachromats there are differences as to how many colours each person perceives. Concetta also has an extraordinarily high luminance factor, meaning she sees a lot more light. She sees more colours in low light, or semi darkness.

The physical ability is only the beginning. As Concetta explains, most of her extraordinary colour perception results from her environment and “visual training” as an artist. She has been painting continuously since the age of six.

Originally from Australia, Concetta shares her time between San Diego, California and Australia. Concetta mainly works in oils because she finds she can mix greater nuances of colour with oil paints.

Concetta didn’t discover her tetrachromacy until her daughter started reporting signs of colour deficiency. Tetrachromats can genetically pass on their fourth colour receptor, as Concetta’s mother presumably did to Concetta and her sister, but it can also result in colour deficiency, as with Concetta ‘s daughter. Concetta tells the fascinating story of how she started realising she might not be like everyone else and how that lead to university research studies being done today. Kim and Concetta also discuss how tetrachromacy is part genetics, part learned and environmental.

Become a Patron and get bonus episodes

Support Art Supply Posse monthly on Patreon

Episode Topics

  • Oil painting
  • Oil paints and tetrachromacy
  • Tetrachromacy, life, and science
  • Discovering tetrachromacy
  • Early support
  • Teaching colour based on light values
  • Teaching, art shows, and press
  • Seeing tetrachromacy in other artists' work
  • Artistic “style” versus actually seeing colours differently
  • Could trichromats ("normal people") learn to use colour like a true tetrachromat?
  • How living in both US and Australia has affected her art
  • Advice to new oil painters
  • Contact information and final words




Scientific information on tetrachromacy

The mystery of tetrachromacy


Interview by Kim Cofield.
Audio editing, show notes and intro by Marcus Clearspring
Show notes by Ylva Staberg

Discuss art supplies in the forum

ASP Forum