Complementary Colors, and Values
A color wheel is made up of three
primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and three secondary colors (the colors mixed
from the primary colors). You can learn a lot about color by mixing your
own color wheels and experimenting with different choices of primary colors.
Complementary colors are the
pairs of colors that are opposite each other in a color wheel. They have
a special relationship with each other and often work well together in a painting.
Black has the widest value range,
so we use the white-to-black value scale to explore values in all colors.
Values play a very important role in the compositional success of a painting.
on images to enlarge.
a color wheelt that shows the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow)
and their secondary colors (purple, green, and orange), which are
made from mixing the primary colors.
Because of the
variety of pigments available, we have the choice of many different
primary colors. In this wheel, the pigments used are
arylide yellow (PY3), permanent rose (PV19) and ultramarine blue
Color Wheel with complements mixed together
colors are pairs of colors that are opposite each other on the color
wheel. They have a special relationship with each other...they
often work well together, and a complement can also be a good
choice to dull down a color--for example add a little green to dull
down a red.
When complements are mixed more equally,
they give a wonderful range of neutral brown & gray colors.
Another Color Wheel Option
color wheel uses prussian blue (PB27), arylide yellow (PY3), and
permanent red deep (PR254/PV19)
Again the complements are
mixed together in the center.
Another Color Wheel Option
can experiment with all kinds of color wheels. This one uses
a cerulean blue (PB35) for blue, a raw sienna (PBr7) for yellow,
and a burnt sienna (PBr.7) for red.
Again the complements
are mixed together in the center.
of a color is how light or dark it is, compared to white
to black scale. It is important to understand the vital role
that values play in a painting--they are the bones of a composition.
It helps to make a value strip of five values (like
the example above), going from white to black, and then punch a
hole in each strip. You can then use this as a tool
to help determine values of what you are painting. Move these
strips over a color in order to match the punched hole value
with the proper strip...it helps to squint your eyes. The
strip where the "hole" seems to disappear indicates the
color's value. In the example above, the value strip was placed
on top of a white sheet of paper--so the left-most hole disappears. If
it was on a black sheet of paper, the rightmost hole would disappear.
Copyright © 2006-2012 by Julie A.
Eastman. All rights reserved.