Friday, March 06, 2009

Split Complementary Color Exercise

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One of the 'color' exercises this week in class was to choose a split complementary color series and then create a simple composition demonstrating how the colors work beside each other.
The split complementary scheme is a variation of the standard complementary scheme. It uses a color and the two colors adjacent to its complementary. This provides high contrast without the strong tension of the complementary scheme.
Pros: The split complementary scheme offers more nuances than the complementary scheme while retaining strong visual contrast. Cons: The split complementary scheme is harder to balance than monochromatic and analogous color schemes.
Tips: 1. Use a single warm color against a range of cool colors to put an emphasis on the warm color (red versus blues and blue-greens, or orange versus blues and blue-violets). 2. Avoid using desaturated warm colors (e.g. browns or dull yellows), because this may ruin the scheme.
The series of images below show a preliminary exercise I did digitally to examine various combinations of this scheme before I painted the final one above. I used Golden acrylics in Cobalt Turquoise, Cadmium Red Medium and Green Gold.

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