Sunday, December 06, 2015

A Tip for Trying New Color Schemes


'A Change of Seasons'          11x14     pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available   $165
I am buried in boxes and bags and crates of stuff today. Not only am I cleaning my studio I decided to take on the herculean task of cleaning my two storage rooms. I will take you on a tour of this process tomorrow. It is going to take awhile to put everything back together again.

So today I am sharing the demo I did a couple of weeks ago for the last pastel class of the year. We were working on color theory and using advanced color schemes. I like to call them color recipes and I love to use them to help me come up with more interesting color ideas. The basic color schemes such as complementary and analogous are easy enough to use but I love to play with the more challenging schemes such as Adjacent-Complementary Tetrad!


My color recipe worksheet

That's right! adjacent-complemnetary tetrad or how about analogous-complementary or split-complementary tetrad? Theses schemes sound complicated but they really can lead to some wonderful color combinations. The really aren't that hard to use with the help of a color wheel and a piece of scrap paper.

TIP: Decide in advance the colors that will make up your recipe and make color notes on a piece of scrap paper. Don't rely on your memory. Take notes!

  • I also remind myself that I can use variations of the color in my recipe. In other words if one of my colors is yellow I don't have to use the pure yellow we see at the top of the color wheel. I can use a variety of values and temperatures of yellow. I can use pure yellow and grayed down yellows. I have choices!  
  • Making color swatches or notes allows me to see my choices on paper. I can see how the colors work together and I can remember which colors to use. (I won't forget about my recipe and add unrelated colors because my ingredients are already selected!)
Using a color scheme allowed me to completely change the mood and season of today's painting. The original and local colors in my reference photos were warm autumn tones of orange, reds, violets and golds. I turned the scene into spring with new color choices.

If you are looking for a great book on color and color schemes I recommend Nita Leland's books. I used the book 'Confident Color' to help me decipher these advanced color schemes

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

I love the trees in this one! They are so wonderful, the greens sing to me and the hope of spring is warm in my heart. Thanks for that new color exercise too, that's fascinating. I don't always limit myself to specific color patterns like that but if I see one in a challenge, it's stimulating. Just seeing the colors will give me something cool to paint!

Those greens are just wonderful and the violets support them so well!