Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Secret of Vivid Color

Vivid Color. There's not really a "secret" to it. There is a simple way to figure out how to get a big POP in color in your paintings. Look at a color wheel. Using colors that are across the wheel from each other add excitement, pizazz, drama and interest to your painting. In some paintings you'll want a lot of color splash and vibrancy so you'll have many places on the canvas where colors opposite each other on the wheel are right next to each other. If you want a painting that is calmer, more peaceful and relaxing then you'll keep your big contrasting colors away from each other or use them in smaller doses.
Colors opposite each other on the color wheel add the most exciting contrast when they are next to each other in your painting.

I just painted "Hydrangeas in an Orange Vase" this week. It will be a model for a group of mostly non-painters who will all get together for a painting "lesson." I wanted a painting with a lot of "woohoo here we go" in the color, so you'll notice that the background is violet and yellow (opposites on the wheel) and the blue flowers are contrasted with the orange vase (also right across the wheel from each other.)

There are places around here - and possibly around the country, but I don't know about other places - where you go and spend a couple of hours painting. The instructor gives directions and demonstrates for the attendees step by step instructions where they can create a painting that is very similar to the sample.

On August 7, at 4:00 at Hilldale's Family Life Center, I'll be teaching those who come how to paint a picture that will end up looking a whole lot like this painting.

If you want a calmer version of this same painting you can do that too. You'll just need to use colors in the background that are close to each other on the wheel. The vase could be a different shade of blue or maybe a purple or green (close to blue on the wheel.) You'll still have a beautiful painting it just won't make your eyes pop out like this one does.