Color Is the Language of Mother Nature

Aspen Patterns & Las Garitas by Stephen Quiller, acrylic and casein. Look at how he explores the color wheel!

Aspen Patterns & Las Garitas by Stephen Quiller, acrylic and casein.

The Bible for Every Artist Who Loves All the Colors of the Color Wheel

Color is what you make it. It can be sensitive, explosive, dreamlike, atmospheric, somber, or cheerful. It can make you feel all of those things too! As artistic observers, we drink in the landscape and Mother Nature herself through color. We look for signs of spring in the return of color to the landscape. We note how different landscapes can appear due to variations in the colors of foliage, flowers, water, and sky.

With so many ways for the color wheel to express itself, it’s crucial that we teach ourselves how to wield color dynamically–but with purpose–and to let go of any color biases we may have so that we see clearly and paint gorgeously!

color-wheel1

Painting by artist and color wheel expert Nita Leland.

 

Here’s what to remember, according to color expert Nita Leland:

+It is the contrast that counts. You don’t need a surface covered with many bright colors to make a striking color statement. A flat expanse of turquoise can be be heightened in visual interest with the sole addition of a warm copper color.

+Make your colors glow. The complementary contrast of subtle pinks and tans against a blue color can create a luminous vision. Manipulating and mingling those same colors near the first set, but lower-intensity versions, can make the first color combo appear almost like it glows.

+Align for harmony. Using analogous or adjacent hues on the color wheel lead to a harmonious image.

+Giving a color the lead. Giving a single color greater importance in a composition establishes unity and can give your color purpose, which is sometimes hard to find if you are in the middle of a landscape that is full flush with colors.

+Dull? Not so fast. As you modify pure hues, they will become duller tones and shades, which isn’t a bad thing at all–it is just that the colors will recede and seem more discreet.

To learn more tips from Nita, Confident Color is the book you want most of all. A review that was sent to us from Delina Aberle told us just that: “This book should be the bible for every artist! Nita Leland clearly does the work for you and identifies multiple color palettes and how to use them successfully! Clearly organized and detailed.”

I couldn’t say it better. Get your copy of Confident Color now! Enjoy!

Courtney

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