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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Technique Tuesday - Better Late Than Never

What Can I Learn From A Color Wheel?

I picked up a pamphlet from Liquitex
on Discovering the Color Wheel.

It is a very interesting pamphlet
and I think it's imperative for artists to have a good foundation of color in order to get the best out of their paintings.  

   This is a color wheel I usually have my art campers create.
The places on the sides are specialty color mixes
 I showed my students.

A color wheel begins with the three primary colors,
red, blue and yellow.  They form a triangle.
Looking at the blue section, 
if you add equal amounts of yellow to blue you get green.
Then if you add one more part of yellow to that mix,
you get a lighter green.
That formula is carried on through each primary color. 

Secondary colors are the ones directly across from the primaries.
The colors next to the primaries and the secondaries are the 
intermediate colors.

If you look at the wheel, you see the warm colors are on one side and the cool colors are on the other side.

Look at any primary color,
the color directly opposite is a complementary color.

Complements are very interesting colors.
Let's say you painted a meadow of green grass.
In the meadow you have some trees, and you need to put in some shadows.
Most people would think add more dark colors.
you would actually add its complement, red.
If you add the complement of any color,
it grays the color.
I don't mean it creates the color gray,
but it mutes the original color.
It makes creating shadows so much easier.

You make tints by adding titanium white
 which also opaques any color. 
On my color wheel, you can see the colors getting lighter as it goes to the center.
Adding black to any color creates a shade. 
I didn't add shades to my wheel, but they would do the same thing only in reverse.  They would get darker as you added more black.

Understanding how color works is a life long effort.
One really important thing to remember is,
when trying to make something pop,
you have to have light against dark.
 Often people are afraid to put light against dark colors.
You shouldn't be afraid of color.
But you also need how to use it.

Thanks for stopping by today.

This is one of the many beginning concepts my online art course,
teaches.  This course was created with home school families and beginning painters in mind.  There is also a FREE daisy painting class on this website.  Give it a look to see how I can help you move your art forward. 

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About Me

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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.