Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Limiting your palette as a way of expanding your colors

Limiting your palette is great way to get to know your colors better. Creating paintings with very few, but harmonious colors, can make for lovely paintings and less mud.

Before I go on I feel like I should define a few terms, although I’m sure most everyone reading this will know these.
  • Complementary colors are defined as the colors directly across from each other on the color wheel. When you mix the three primary colors (Magenta, Cyan, Yellow) you will get a mixture that is the same as mixing two complements like Yellow and Blue-Violet for example.
  • Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Like Yellow and Yellow Green.
  • Split Complementary palettes are three analogous colors and a “key” color located directly across from the center of the middle analogous color.
  • Tetradic color schemes are four colors arranged into two complementary pairs.
Here are two of my early painting experiments using:
  1. A limited Split-Complementary palette.
  2. A rectangular Tetradic color scheme.
"Sitting Gorilla" - Split Complementary Palette

"Milo Bunny" - Tetradic Color Scheme

I was amazed at how many colors you can see in each. And all from mixing colors. Wow! :-)

Next up - Color Cards!

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