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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Favorite Color Tool Comes to the Rescue

'Waiting for Winter'            9x12             pastel           ©Karen Margulis
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Color choices are not always easy. Especially if one wishes to be more expressive with color. It is easy enough to look at a reference and find the colors to match what is in the scene. But what if we want to go beyond this color? What if we don't want to copy the colors in the photo exactly? Maybe we even wish to change the colors completely? How can we play with color yet still be successful?

Color sense can be developed. The more we know about color...the more we understand the color wheel and color relationships....the more fluent we will be with using interesting and exciting color. No, it does not always come easily but it can be nurtured.

Color wheels and other tools can help and I have a favorite.


Using the Analogous Color Wheel
 I have blogged about this color wheel in the past.
Here is a link:http://www.kemstudios.blogspot.com/2015/01/my-favorite-color-tool.html

I decided to use this color wheel for today's pastel class demo. We are working on Color and color schemes. We worked on monochromatic, complementary and triadic schemes before trying an analogous color scheme.
I love working with analogous color.....using colors that are next to one another on the color wheel. They are restful, calming and work well for many landscapes. The problem is they can also be a bit too restful and calm. Sometimes they seem to lack a little punch or excitement.

 The Analogous Color Wheel comes to the rescue by suggesting colors that will add to the scheme and create a more pleasing painting. According to the information printed on the wheel "... a painting should have most of its colors on one part of the color wheel along with neutral grays to enhance them and a small amount of the dominant hues's correct complement."

How does the wheel work?


For today's demo I decided to use the wheel to create a more interesting analogous scheme....I call it Analogous Plus.

  • I am disregarding the colors in the reference photo and I choose Green, Yellow Green and Blue Green as the dominant hues. I turn the wheel placing them at the top.
  • The wheel suggests that the complement of the green is red violet (not that this wheel is based on the Munsell color system (another blog topic!)
  • I decide to use the complement of Red violet for the first layer (underpainting) I use 4 values of red-violet.
  • I used various values of green, blue green and yellow green to develop the painting. I use both pure intense green and grayed down neutral greens.
  • Discords are also suggested by the wheel. Discords are the spices....colors used in small amounts often near the center of interest. Discords add interst (spice) to the painting. The discords suggested for my scheme is red-orange and blue-violet. Can you see where I used them in my painting?

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

You're right, the color harmony does make the whole painting look serene and relaxing. Spotted the blue-violet spice but couldn't find the red-orange, possibly it's too pale to identify? If it's a light red-orange tint then yeah makes sense, livens up the red-violet tint.