Thursday, November 12, 2009

Complements and the Practical Colour Wheel

This image demonstrates the Practical Colour Wheel and mixing complements.  Alizarin Crimson and Viridian are chosen to mix a dark (near) grey in the centre of the wheel.

Each opposite pair of pigments on the wheel will produce similar results.  If we lean the mixture towards Alizarin or towards Viridian we can get a greyed version of those colours.  These mixtures are less intense or dull.  To see what colour you have add a dab of white.

Now, if you want a different value of the colour add white until the value you wish is obtained.  Here the middle grey has been used and various amounts of white are added to yield a different value of the same colour.  This can be done anywhere along the line between Alizarin and Viridian.

You will understand this better by going through the exercise.  If not, drop me a line.

A note about adding white;  White is the coldest "colour" on your palette.  When it is mixed with any pigment it both cools and dulls that pigment as well as altering the value.

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