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What You Need To Know About Color

Color can change a piece of artwork immensely because color can change how you feel when you look at an art piece. Remember learning about Picasso's blue period? He used analogous colors in the blue range to portray sadness. Many artists use a variety of colors that just somehow seem to work well together...but I'll tell you - it's not random! There's a not-so-secret explanation of color works and after this blog, you'll begin to notice it in art you see! 

Color is the first thing you see and different colors can stand out more than others. Below, take notice of which colors stand out right away!

Color Wheel

(Image from Smart Art found on Pinterest)

Okay let’s start with the basics. The color wheel is a magical tool that shows you the colors of the rainbow. Every color is somewhere in the wheel. It’s a great tool to use when deciding what colors to add to a painting, coloring sheet, photography, etc.

Warm and Cool Colors

The first thing I want to point out is the fact that there are warm colors and cool colors. Warm colors include yellow, orange, and red. Cool colors include purple, blue, and green.

(Image from Tes Teach found on Google)

Complementary colors

Complementary colors are so fun to work with.They’re colors that are on the opposite sides of the wheel from each other. They include purple + yellow, red + green, orange + blue, and you can get fancier with them when looking at in between colors. 

(Image from Slide Share found on Google)
Here are some examples of my work! Under each picture, I show you which complementary colors are shown in them! Keep in mind that when you create with complementary colors, they don't have the be Christmas red and green - they can be variations of these colors!

Quick tip:

When I start creating a colorful art piece, I usually start with a warm color for the highlights (or lightest parts of a picture where the light hits in the image) and the complementary cool color for the shadows (the darkest parts of the picture, opposite from where the light hits in the image). 

Slightly longer tip:

I usually fill in other parts of the image with colors I just feel will look good together. Some artists will say stick to only 3 colors and others will say add in lots of color. So it’s completely up to you! I tried to choose 3 colors because I kept hearing it in podcasts and youtube tutorials from other artists (Yes, I’m still learning too. We always are!) Realistically, I felt limited and burst out with more colors in my next paintings. What I’m trying to say is you’ll hear how to do things based on how artists do things but end of the day, it’s your work and you need to make it YOU! So I’ll give options but you should choose what feels right.
Here’s a link to my print section of my website to check out more examples of art I’ve done. I want you to look at them with the mindset of color now. That means, look at colors I chose. See what you like and what you don’t like. See what colors stand out and which don’t. Now, you have more reasoning to show why that is!

Just a reminder though, not every piece of art you make has to be complementary (opposite on the color wheel). It depends on what you’re trying to show. For example, my Sit Back and Take a Sip on my Prints page is full of warm or light colors but it’s a softer piece of artwork. Oppositely, the OG Lion is bright and in your face haha. 

Let me know which ones you resonate with and why! I’d love to see your artwork too where you explore using different colors than you may be used to. DM me on insta @kara_artwork or email me at karaglassartwork@gmail.com. Also, let me know what you want to see a blog about!

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