I invited artist & blogger Tracy Meola to write a guest post about how she uses color. Tracy’s work is very different from mine and I love it! Check out more of her work and her blog at the links below. Also, if you’re local to Plaistow, NH, visit her gallery and take a class! ……Take it awaaayyy, Tracy!
As a still life artist I spend a good amount of time planning a painting before I actually get to the painting part. Planning includes choosing the elements to set up a still life (glassware, boxes, cloths, etc) and to do that I must think about the mood or feeling that I want to convey.
Do I want color to be the wow factor in the painting or do I want one particular element to be the star, or an overall feeling to take hold?
When I’m considering color for the painting, and I decide on harmonious color, a good choice is an Analogous color scheme. Analogous color schemes are made up of three or four colors on the color wheel that are next to each other or in a row that share a common color. Red, Red Orange, Orange and Yellow Orange would be an example as well as Blue, Blue Green and Green. Using the Analogous rule will always create a harmonious color scheme in a painting.
However, these schemes will not have a lot of contrast, they will be more subdued. Which is why choosing the elements for the still life or the lighting effect will be important for creating interest in the painting.
In my pre-planning of a still life I may need to pay more attention to composition, allowing one of the elements in the still life to “take center stage” to give the painting more interest.
The painting in figure A is a Cool Analogous painting using Blue, Blue Green & Green. The texture of the elements and the lighting creates the interest, while the colors are pleasing.
The painting in figure B uses the same Analogous colors but not as vibrant, the colors are much more subtle so the painting creates a different feeling. Again, the glass texture and the circular composition keeps the eye interested.
As you can see, Analogous colors blend and move well together instead of fighting with each other or intensifying each other. If you choose this scheme for home decorating, it works really well when you choose one color for the dominant color and the others as support colors. I have also seen analogous color used many times in stationary papers.
Another example of Analogous color is the painting in figure C. This one is a Warm blend of Red, Red Orange, Orange, and Yellow. In this case the painting is an abstract and is meant to create color and mood in a room.
As you plan your next painting try playing with color schemes and consider an Analogous color scheme for harmony.
Tracy is a professional artist that specializes in painted still-life realism, using fluid acrylics. She uses her own adapted technique of lightly layering paint with the use of water, which gives her paintings a soft blended look. Her paintings can have twenty or more layers of paint on them but still look soft and smooth.
She writes her own Art blog which covers a variety of topics that range from what she has recently painted to places that she has visited. She looks (and finds) art in everyday life.
Tracy paints, teaches and exhibits at the Art On Main Fine Art Studio & Gallery in Plaistow, New Hampshire.
Pinterest: Tracy Meola Artwork