I’ve been doing a lot of work to gain a deeper understanding of value and composition, and now I feel like working on color. I enjoy painting with a limited palette, and with all of these new colors in my drawer of oil paints I wanted to do some experimenting to get a feel for how they work together.
My primary goal with this exercise was to find some good complementary pairs among my colors — two hues that could act as a warm and a cool together and would neutralize when mixed. I also wanted to get a sense of how a selection of colors influences the overall mood of the painting.
It was enlightening to see how two colors that sounded like they’d be complements actually worked with each other on the paper. For example, I thought Winsor Orange and ultramarine blue (#7) would be exact complements, but the overall tone of the study feels very cool to me.
Because I used all three primaries for the first three color studies, I quickly found myself wishing I had that third hue to balance out the rest of the studies. It sure gave me a greater appreciation for having three colors to mix with!
Next, I want to do a bunch of three-color palette studies.
A table of the colors I used: