Color Schemes and Harmonies
Color Schemes and Harmonies
In this DVD Hall introduces in great depth six unique color schemes and harmonies, including monochromatic, analogous, complementary,cool/warm, triadic and the tetrad harmony. Learning about color schemes enables one to explore color inventively. In each of the demonstrations Hall paints a different California Bartlett pear and applies the six unique color schemes to six different pear paintings! He discusses the fundamentals of simple color harmonies, opposing color harmonies and classic balanced harmonies, and reveals the pros and cons of each! Each demonstration includes spectacular close-up shots of various colors being mixed together on the palette, and how the saturation and value of the colors are altered through both cool, achromatic neutrals and chromatic neutrals.
DESCRIPTIONS OF COLOR HARMONIES
Six Painting Demonstrations of the California Bartlett Pear
A monochromatic color scheme is defined as a simple harmony and is built upon a single color, which may be made to appear darker, lighter, and less intense through the addition of black, white, and gray. When implementing this color scheme any of the twelve colors—primary, secondary, or tertiary colors—found on the color wheel can be used, and then varied through different combinations of tints, tones, and shades. In this first demonstration I use the secondary color green and work to create visual contrast and a sense of sculptural weight in the pear through using a variety of tints, shades, and tones. With this color scheme it’s very easy to create a feeling of color unity since only a single color is implemented, however it’s essential to vary the degree of value and saturation to add contrast and visual interest.
An analogous color scheme is defined as a simple harmony and is built upon two or three colors that are adjacent to one another on the color wheel. For example, working with a violet, blue-violet, and blue, or a red, red-violet, red, or orange and yellow-orange are all analogous in nature. Similar to the monochromatic harmony, colors may be made to appear darker, lighter, and less vibrant through the addition of black, white, and gray. When implementing this color scheme any of the twelve colors—primary, secondary, or tertiary colors—located on the color wheel may be used and grouped together as color families. In this second demonstration I combine the secondary color green with the tertiary colors, yellow-green and blue green, and strive to realize in the painting a feeling of visual contrast, interest, and atmospheric space through the use of a variety of tints, shades, and tones. With this simple color harmony it’s quite easy, as it was with the monochromatic scheme, to create a sense of visual unity and color balance.
A complimentary color scheme is defined as a contrasting harmony and is built upon two colors that are located directly across from one another on the color wheel, and may involve primary, secondary, or intermediate (tertiary) colors. The most basic complimentary combinations involve green and red, blue and orange, and yellow mixed with violet. Similar to the monochromatic and analogous harmonies, colors may be made to appear darker, lighter, and subdued through the addition of black, white, and gray. Although, what makes this particular color scheme unique is the option for mixing complementary colors together to make chromatic neutrals. Don’t get this confused with the cool achromatic neutral that is created by mixing black and white together! In the third demonstration I combine the complementary, opposing colors, red and green, and work towards moving the two colors throughout the piece in different values and intensities. Throughout the negative space I integrated small modular brushstrokes of tinted green over top the underlying field of red, which adds to the sense of rhythmic movement through color vibration. Complementary colors placed side by side appear to shimmer and intensify one another. Try this and you will see! Additionally, I used tints to introduce a few high-key areas, however did not make use of tones or shades. Instead, the red was intermixed with the green in different proportions to create a variety of chromatic neutral, which resulted in low-key values in the shadows of the pear form. Don’t forget, saturation or chroma is measured in terms of high, medium, and low saturation. I used all of these in this painting! Complementary color harmonies command a great deal of attention, and tend to “strike the view’s eyes” and pull one in through the interaction of vibrating complementary colors.
A cool/warm harmony is a four-color scheme involving opposing colors. It’s based on a single pair of neighboring warm colors and a single pair of neighboring cool colors. This color scheme offers a tremendous amount of flexibility and opportunity for inventiveness due to the large variety of combinations available for uniquely partnering neighboring colors together. For example, yellow-orange and orange could be combined with red-violet and violet as pure hues, tones, tints, or shades. Another possibility, would be integrating yellow- green and green with yellow-orange and orange as pure hues, tones, tints, or shades. In the fourth demonstration I experimented with juxtaposing a yellow- green and yellow with a blue and blue-violet. As in several of the former demonstrations, I added visual contrast through mixing diverse tones, tines, and shades. Although, I did not intermix the base colors together to lower both color’s saturation. If warm and cool complementary colors were actually mixed together the color scheme would be considered a double complementary harmony, 0pposed to a cool/warm harmony. In a cool/warm harmony chromatic neutrals are not supposed to be used!
A triadic color scheme involves three colors that are equally space around the color wheel in a triangular formation, and considered to be a balanced harmony. It’s often described as a color chord or color notes, and associated with musical notes or chords. There are four distinct triadic harmonies that include red, yellow and blue, and a secondary triad consisting of violet, orange and green. There also exist two unique tertiary combinations involving red-orange, yellow-green, blue-violet; and red-violet, yellow-orange, and blue-green. In this color scheme colors are not intermixed to form chromatic neutrals. Instead colors are isolated within the composition and presented as varied tones, tints, and shades. In the fifth demonstration I opted to implement a tertiary triad consisting of red-orange, yellow-green, and blue violet, and introduced subtle variation through tones, tints, and shades.
A tetrad color scheme involves four colors that are equally space around the color wheel in rectangular and square formations. Tetrad is also defined as balanced harmony or color chord. The three tetrad harmonies that can be created through interconnecting four colors by a square are: yellow, violet, red-orange, blue-green; yellow-orange, blue-violet, red, green; or orange, blue, red-violet, yellow-green. The three color combinations that may be created through a rectangle are: yellow-green, red-violet, yellow-orange, blue-violet; yellow, violet, blue, orange; or green, red, yellow, violet. Similar to the triad, colors are not intermixed to form chromatic neutrals, rather colors are varied within separate areas as tones, tints, and shades. In the final demonstration I opted to implement a tetrad consisting of yellow, violet, blue, and orange, and once again added variation through varying the saturation of the colors.
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- Color Schemes and Harmonies
- Color Schemes and Harmonies
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