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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Making a Challenging Color Scheme Work

'Fantasy in Red Orange''         10x12         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $150
  It should be easy.  All you need to do is choose 3 or 4 neighboring colors on the color wheel. This makes up  an Analogous Color Scheme. How hard could it be then to pick the colors and get a good painting?  Not as easy as it looks.   We all have our favorite colors and color schemes (even if we don't know it or label it)   In looking over my work I have discovered that I never use a purely analogous scheme.

Analogous Color Schemes are restful. Since the colors are next door neighbors to one another they are harmonious and pleasing to the eye. This color scheme is often found in nature so it it a perfect color recipe to use for a landscape painting. Paintings using this scheme are serene, peaceful, calm.

But I find a pure analogous color scheme to be a bit too calm and serene.....they can easily become a bit too boring to my liking. When I find myself using analogous colors I tend to incorporate the complement and some discords for some color surprise.  This is known as Analogous-Complementary scheme and it is probably one of my favorites. I love using an the Analogous Color Wheel to help me.

How can we make a pure analogous scheme work ? I challenged myself to give it a try. It was difficult to stick with my chosen scheme of red orange, red, orange and red violet.    I so wanted to take out some blue green! I exercised restraint and in the end made it work. Here is what I learned:


Choosing pastels for an analogous color scheme

  • Choose one of the colors in the scheme to be dominant. I chose Red Orange. 
  • Choose a second color to be a support color and use it in a smaller amount. I chose Red.
  • The third and fourth colors are used in an even smaller amount. These colors are accents. I used Red Violet and Orange in the smallest amounts.
  • Contrast becomes important in an analogous scheme. Make sure the contrast of dark and light is strong enough.

What's Happening on Patreon
We are exploring the world of color! This week we expand into the use of color schemes beginning with analogous schemes! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

That's beautiful, and your values are very dramatic. I think that helps jazz up an analogous scheme, it's similar to monochromes that way. Color doesn't do the punch so value steps up and wow, it has zing.