Thursday, January 11, 2018

Basic Color Schemes

Color Schemes

Sometimes giving yourself limitations when you paint can help to get your creative juices flowing.
One way to do that is to choose a Color Scheme.

Here are a few that I have used, there are more. I also use these as sides of a die in my Art Inspiration Game which you can read about here   

These first few have to do with the good old Color Wheel. 

As you know, the Primary Colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. All the other colors can be made by mixing these 3 colors together.
The Secondary Colors: Green, Orange and Purple, are made by mixing two primaries together.
I don't have them shown here, but Tertiary Colors are made by mixing two adjacent colors together. So yellow-green or red-orange for example.

A Complimentary Color scheme means choosing 2 main colors that are Complimentary, meaning directly across the color wheel: Examples are: Orange & Blue, Green & Red, Yellow & Purple. Here is an example:

This has a red/green
complimentary color scheme.


Another one is Split Complimentary That would be choosing a color, and then the two colors on either side of its complimentary color. You can do this with a color wheel of primary and secondary colors like the one shown above, or you can expand the color wheel to include the tertiary colors. So in this scheme you might choose Purple - Its compliment is Yellow, either side of that is orange and green. So your scheme would be Purple, Orange, and Green.
This painting is pretty close to that:

With all of these schemes, it doesn't mean you can only use only those colors, just that it should be your overall experience of viewing the painting.

Analogous: Those would be colors next to each other on the color wheel, either 2 or 3: green & blue, or green, blue and purple. yellow and orange, or red yellow and orange.
Here is a yellow/green/blue analogous painting

Moving away from the color wheel specifically, here are a few more schemes:

You can find many examples of this in my work because I love color! Saturated just means a lot of pure, rich color. Often straight from the tube.

Neutrals: This would just be a painting that has primarily neutralized color. Nothing too bright or vivid.
Here is one like that:
Or at least as neutral as I usually get, :) I like color!

The last scheme you might choose would be any 3 tubes + white. So you would just choose any 3 tubes of paint, probably some type of yellow, red and blue so you could mix other colors. But it might be more fun to challenge yourself by choosing something more difficult ! The painting I used above as an example of Split Complimentaries - The Fall Color was actually done with just Hansa Yellow Medium, Napthal Red Light, Ultramarine Blue and White.

So, whether you are playing my Art Inspiration Game, or just looking to limit your options to spark your creativity. Try choosing a Color Scheme for your next painting!

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