Color Harmony

This week I started painting the Alien Exhibit.  If you read last week's post, you can see how I streamlined the color comp process. It has been more efficient.

I wasn't sure, however, if I could recreate all of those beautiful colors with my three tubes of paint.  The real test was when I tried to make purple for the girl jumping on her bed. 

I mixed the cadmium red and the cobalt teal and got mud.  I knew that the colors were so unsaturated that I couldn't get that vibrant purple.

I pulled out the big guns: the dioxazine purple.

I thought the dioxazine purple was probably close to the correct color, but I was afraid it wouldn't be. What would I need to add to it to make sure it ended up in the same color family?  As I squeezed it out onto my palette, it hit me. Duh!

I was trying to make it harder than it needed to be.  I just needed to rely on a little color harmony tip that I already knew.  In fact, I had just taken a free online workshop that reminded me of this.  

To make any color belong to the same color family, all you need to do is mix in a little bit of the base color.  In the case of the purple, just take some of that purpley-grey mud I had mixed and add it to dioxazine purple.  It worked out beautifully.  Wow!

I did it again with Cad Orange and I got the color I was looking for quickly and so easily.

The next day I did it again.  I wanted a pretty blue that was dark (colbalt teal is not dark). I had found the color in photoshop and then I needed to recreate it in acrylic. 

I was thinking I would need to grab cobalt blue or ultramarine blue and try a few variations with adding yellow and red to get the right mix. But when I put my hand into the box of paint, I found a tube of Azurite Hue (an impulse buy from when I wanted to test all the blues I could find, but never got around to doing it).

I squeezed it out, and added some cobalt blue and maybe even a little cad red. It worked perfectly. Easily.  

I love the colors it created in the painting and this new blue is one of my favorites.

While I think I will still try to make the color I am looking for with my 3 base colors for this exhibit, I understand now why having a tube of green, purple, or orange in your paints is such a good idea.  Just mix a little bit of your base colors and the new color belongs in the family!

I had been worried that the color palette I chose would not be versatile enough for my Alien Exhibit.  Now, however, I found the way to unlock so many more colors while keeping the palette under control.


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