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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Color Theory


Landscapes (the bane of my existence) made fun by using a split comp palette and some imagination.

Because I've never received any formal art education, I've never studied color theory although I have a basic understanding. I can't count the times it's been a struggle to choose a palette for a particular painting. Painting with complimentary colors is something I do enjoy and I've found color combinations I like just by trial and error.

I had forgotten I bought the book 'Color Choices: Making Sense Out Of Color Theory' by Stephan Quiller. While browsing through the book I was blown away by his dynamic landscapes. The paintings I kept coming back to were painted with a split complementary palette so I had to try my hand at it. Simply put, I chose a color(green gold) and found it's complement (red violet...I used DS Quin violet) on the color wheel. Then I looked at the analogous colors of red violet. Analogous colors are those hues that are next to each other on the color wheel. I chose to go toward the more blue hues like blue violet(which I mixed myself) and Indathrene blue. I did add one tertiary hue which was DS Undersea green. If you're not familiar with it, it's an olive-y green.

Arrows indicting my split complimentary colors

Quiller also combines gouache with transparent watercolor. I have one tube each of white and black gouache that have languished in a drawer for a few years. I keep the white on hand just in case a highlight is lost and the black had never been opened. I got them both out and used them to lighten and darken my watercolors. Who knew painting with gouache was so much fun! Tinting gouache with transparent watercolor opened up a whole new world for me. It compares to getting new art supplies without spending a dime.

I won't go into everything I found extremely helpful in Quiller's book but in summary, I highly recommend this book to any artist, especially if they struggle with color. Mr. Quiller breaks down color theory so it's understandable without becoming boring.

2 comments:

cecile graven said...

beautyful !

Billie Crain said...

Tanks, Cecile!