Reply To: Managing values ratios in color

Dashboard Forums Drawing Questions Managing values ratios in color Reply To: Managing values ratios in color

Marjan Van der Donk

Hi Annabelle,
To add to Matt’s great podcast, I would like to share how I first started to learn how to tackle colours. I didn’t have a clue to be honest, and avoided doing anything colourful. Putting black into paint (acrylic, watercolour) wasn’t working, obviously. Two years ago, after a tip from a professional, I spent weeks painting large canvasses – 6 in total – each one monochromatic. I applied the principles of the colour wheel as he explained it to me. So, for my canvas in red, on top of three tubes of red paint I only added green (the complement colour on the wheel) and for effect some white in parts, thus creating vibrant reds – muted reds – and really dark red. For blue the complement is orange, for yellow – purple. And then reversed it, so for the green canvas I used red to tone down the chroma of the green, or to darken the green, et cetera. It was a great excercise and a lot of fun! I had to restrain myself and not use yellow and blue to enhance the green – that has its merits, but wasn’t part of the excercise. I just splashed acrylic red paint on my canvas, happily mixing in the greens and experimenting because ‘it didn’t have to look like anything’. And guess what: they were great! I even did a second series, and they are gorgeous – I put them up in my living room as a feature on one wall, just to celebrate I overcame my colour-phobia haha! A nice semi glossy varnish has the colours vibrant and shimmering. I’m chuffed to bits with them!
Hope this helps,