The Color Shift

Author Michelle    Category Blog     Tags

People always ask me how I decide on the colors I use in a piece. If you start to look at color differently, it becomes easier to use spectacular color to enhance your piece. So, lets think about color differently. If we were painters painting shadows and highlights we might reach for the tube of black or white paint to get those shadows and high lights. Instead, lets look at colors on the color wheel and see if we can see light and dark without adding white and black. The lightest color on the wheel relative to the others is probably yellow. Yellow is the color almost any child chooses to draw the sun. So lets think of warm yellow as our white. The coolest color on the wheel is blue, and we have already seen how we can use blue to create depth. Lets think of blue as our black. So when we are choosing colors for those places that are highlighted choose a color one or two steps from your color toward yellow and when we are choosing colors for shadows choose a color one or two steps toward blue on the color wheel. The only time this doesn’t work is if the color you are starting with is already yellow or blue.

See my example below of the leaf. The highlights on the leaf were created by moving one and two steps toward yellow from the green on the color wheel and the shadow or darker areas were created by moving two steps from green to blue.

Color Shift

Related posts:

  1. Adding Color
  2. Warm and Cool
  3. Working on a “new” Color Class

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