The films of Guillermo del Toro are freaking cool. He has an unmistakable style and it's evident that he has so much fun on his projects. Listen to his director's commentary sometime. My husband and I have been bonding over his movies for years and are dying to see The Shape of Water, but it doesn't seem to be coming to theaters in Alabama... Oh, a random, embarrassing fact for you: Abe Sapien is my childhood fictional character crush.
My personal favorites are Hellboy 2, Cronos (an interesting take on vampirism), Pan's Labyrinth (which is probably everyone's favorite), and Crimson Peak.
The palettes of del Toro films are usually very dark (which makes sense with the subject matter going on), with rich golds, yellows, and reds. Looking to these palettes for inspiration was a great way to get out of my candy color comfort zone. I like the paintings I made, but I still think I went too light.