The Color of Color Part II

The Color of Color Part II

The color wheel is the foundation from which painters build. Consider using these 12 colors to discover the endless multitude of colors by developing color charts. One of my favorite is called parent colors. By using a palette knife, never a brush, one parent color could be red with the other green, directly opposite each other on the color wheel. You can then mix these two together to develop an interesting gray. By adding more of the red the gray becomes a warmer gray. By adding more green and the result is a cooler gray.

Then start working these two colors with all other colors in a systematic way and you will discover the beauty that is waiting for you to use with all future paintings. It will transform your art from amateur to that professional look for which we are all striving.

An extra step an artist can take to create that professional look is to create a specific color chart for any new painting you are planning. For example, if I want the painting to have a late afternoon atmosphere I will choose colors that reflect that warmth. Or a cool winter morning painting will demand a cooler palette. This takes thought of which colors work together to create atmosphere.

I’ve included an example below which is a color chart for the painting Mississippi In Bloom.


Atmosphere or Mood of the painting is one of the three things I teach in my workshops; the other two are quality drawing and knowing when to bring the painting to an end to avoid overworking the art.

1 comment

  • Marcie Meshek.

    Love it. Truly inspired. But I love Spring. It’s the season of new birth and new dreams. Anything is possible.

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