Annie Haupt was the first to reply and suggest a color theme for Family Treasures No. 55. (She also happens to have been one of my students when I taught watercolor in the early 80’s! Annie suggested Color Scheme #3 (Cross Complements). She didn’t indicate one of the twelve color wheel hues to be included in the scheme, so I chose the hue myself. I wanted a light value hue for contrast, so I chose to include Orange. By choosing orange, the other three colors had to be Blue, Red-Violet and Yellow-Green. To indicate the different petals of the ceramic rose I used a variety of yellow-greens. Notice that the more I headed toward green, the darker the value of the color.
When playing the Color Scheme Game I use the pigments as undiluted as possible to learn more about their value on a scale from white to black. I opted to use a manganese blue rather than a cobalt or an ultramarine blue. The Manganese is on the cooler side, heading more toward green than it is toward violet. It isn’t quite a green-blue, but it’s close. If I had used an ultramarine blue, the orange and blue dynamics would have been too strong and would have grabbed the attention away from the green ceramic rose. It’s still a bit of a battle, but that’s what happens when I am exploring color with the color scheme game. I learn a lot more by playing with color at its most powerful level.
To show the effects of shifting the color scheme slightly, I used a double complement color scheme this morning, keeping one of the complementary pairs the same as yesterday’s painting. I used Red-Violet and Yellow Green along with Blue-Violet and Yellow Orange. The pairs of complementary colors are closer to each other on the color wheel.
Everyone’s monitor is set a bit differently. In case the differences aren’t noticeable to you, the background in the second painting is more yellow-orange than in the first, though only slightly so. I wanted to illustrate the dynamics of moving away from neighboring hues on the color wheel. The Red-Violets are the same, the yellow0greens are the same. The differences are that instead of manganese blue, I used blue-violet in the second painting. The blue-violet is not reacting to the yellow-orange with the same punch that the Manganese blue reacted to a very similar hue, the orange in the background in painting number one. I used a variation of the yellow-orange for the hair and beard by adding more yellow to my yellow-orange mixture. The result is that there is very little contrast between the yellow-green face and the yellow-orange hair. Notice that by adding more yellow to the yellow-orange I have made the mixture a lighter value, providing more contrast against the red-violet cloak.
When I post next week’s Play With Me ink drawing on Tuesday or Wednesday, I will also post a color wheel so that you have a reference for the twelve colors that you may choose from. I will continue to post the listing of the twelve color schemes. All you have to do is pick a numbered color scheme and one color. Click the contact link to email me your choices. If you are the first to respond, I will use your suggestions. If you wish for me to include a link to either your blog or your website (or any other online portfolio of your work) please include a link to that site. If you don’t want me to mention your name as the inspirational artist behind the color scheme, please indicate that in the message to me. Thanks!