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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Choosing The Colors for a Painting

'Autumn Welcome'              18x24              pastel            ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $500
 I love a good challenge. It is all too easy to fall into the comfort of a familiar palette. If not careful paintings done with the same palette will start to look the same. Every once in awhile it is fun and helpful to mix it up and stretch our color muscles with color schemes....the more complex the more we are stretched!

We are working with color schemes on my pastel classes this week. We are discovering ways that color schemes  help our paintings. I will share more in an upcoming post but I wanted to first ask you some questions to get you thinking.

How do you usually choose the pastels (colors) you will use for your subject?  Do you use color schemes to guide your choices? If so do you choose a subject to fit the color scheme or choose a color scheme to fit your subject?

Visual aids for this week's class

I typically do not use a planned color scheme. I look at my subject and choose colors to represent each element in the subject. For example....I choose grass colors and sky colors and water colors and so on. I try to go beyond local color choosing a variety of same value colors to layer with my local colors.

I am taking my chances that the colors I choose will be harmonious and will look right together. Taking time to practice with color schemes gives me the knowledge I need to make more intuitive color selections. I only work with color schemes occasionally as an exercise but I always come away from it with a better understanding of color.  More to come  on color schemes!

Today's painting is the demo from my Tuesday morning class. I chose a Split Complementary color scheme of Red-Orange, Blue and Green. It is 18x24 on Uart paper with no underpainting.

Studio Dog....Heidi Rose

Studio Cat....Jennifur


robertsloan2art said...

Aww Jennifur is so beautiful! Heidi looks like a nice dog but I've got a soft spot for all cats, typing with one in my lap at the moment! Thanks for sharing those photos!

She'd be fun to paint mixing warm neutral tones from complements, when I turn to painting cats I have to go beyond literal color into what makes the painting sing.

Love this painting and your approach to color. I often wind up realizing I have a color scheme after painting. My unconscious will guide it and the color scheme is there but it was there in the subject too. The difference between this painting and the one in the following article (read them backwards) is striking and both are so powerful.

Heidi said...

Hi Karen,
I'm so enjoying your blog posts and all your videos!! Just had to write though because I have two yellow labs ( just the best dogs) and had a cat just like your Jennifur. My name is Heidi and my daughter is Jennifer! Funny coincidence and like minds!! Thank you for sharing so much of your art and art knowledge with us!!!