'Pyjama Cardinal fish' by Benjamin Mitchley

'Pyjama Cardinal fish' by Benjamin Mitchley
Oil on canvas, 1440mm x 580mm

Colour Basics

PRIMARY COLOURS

RED, BLUE, YELLOW

These colours cannot be achieved by mixing.

When mixing all the primary colours together, a muddy colour is achieved.

RED + BLUE + YELLOW = BLACK, EARTHY or MUDDY colour.

Play around with different amounts of each primary colour to achieve a variety of these tones.

SECONDARY COLOURS

ORANGE, GREEN, VIOLET
These colours are achieved by mixing 2 primary colours together.

On the colour wheel, Secondary colours lie between the two Primary colours that create it.

RED + YELLOW= ORANGE

BLUE + YELLOW= GREEN

BLUE + RED= VIOLET


COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS


RED & GREEN
BLUE & ORANGE
YELLOW & VIOLET
These colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel.

When working with complementary colours, add a little of one colour to a large amount of the other e.g.: If you have more RED in a painting use a little bit of GREEN to complement it, and vice versa.

When placing two complementary colours like VIOLET and YELLOW adjacent to each other, the first will effect the look of the second.VIOLET will look more VIOLET and YELLOW will look more YELLOW.



The same applies with two similar colours, the complementary of each will affect the other, but the effect is different when RED is placed next to ORANGE,
it will look more VIOLET-RED because of the BLUECAST of the ORANGE. The same RED next to VIOLET will look more ORANGE because of the YELLOW cast of the VIOLET.



WHITE and BLACK


Use BLACK and WHITE to create different tones of light and shade by mixing them with other colours, and to help bright colours to look deeper in tone or glowing by placing them around bright colours.


Lighter variations of colour are achieved by adding in a little bit of WHITE at a time.


By isolating a bright colour with WHITE, it will look deeper in tone.
By isolating a bright colour with BLACK, the colour will glow.







Light and dark sections of tone, when viewed separately, do not have as much contrast as when they are seen against each other. Where they meet, a maximum contrast is created and the darker tone will look even darker.


When increasing strips of tonal colour are juxtaposed, the contrast along the edges give flat strips a fluted look. For a smoother look, the edges of the opposite or adjacent darker tone must be painted lighter.



Darker shades of colour are produced by adding in a little bit of BLACK at a time.

BLACK may change the direction the colour is moving towards e.g.: YELLOW might lean towards a GREEN shade.

Play with a variety of colours to create a specific tone or shade.


I tend not to use BLACK on its own because it tends to become flat when dry. By mixing a primary colour with BLACK, it helps to create a deeper BLACK. The same applies to GREY.



Try to 'look' deeper and think less of what you are trying to achieve. Colour might not necessarily be what you 'think' it is.

The colour of skin is a variety of different shades of colour, and not one specific colour with different shades of light and dark. This depends entirely on what the Artist wants to create.

Colour changes all the time depending on the time of day. We see colour because of the light that falls on it.

Test yourself to create a work by only using Primary colours, Black and White.

The fun lies in experimenting, to see what colours you can achieve by mixing.


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