Colour Mixing

At the still-life acrylic workshop with Melanie Cambridge last Saturday, she explained to us about using different combinations of colours to achieve different effects within a painting. I wrote down all the combinations and have googled some images which help make sense of the colours that could be used.

Melanie first explained that we’re used to using complimentary colours, which are opposite on a colour wheel, often of a primary colour and a secondary colour. We mix them together, or to make the colours appear vibrant, we paint them next to each other.

 

image1

 

 

If we move on to use analogous colours next to each other, then a painting will look harmonious. This is because the colours are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel, so are very similar but slightly different. The colours can be a primary, secondary and a tertiary colour, or any 3 adjacent.

image2

 

 

Then there is the triadic palette which uses colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel.

image3

 

Lastly, Melanie explained about the Zorn palette of colours.

Named after Anders Zorn, a famous Swedish artist who lived from 1860 to 1920. Zorn did use a range of colours in his landscapes, as he used blue for water and sky, but he used only 4 colours to paint most of his portraits.

A couple of the exact colours are no longer available, such as lead white or flake white, but modern equivalents suggested are…Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black.

These four colours can be mixed together to make all skin tones needed, as the colour chart of the Zorn palette shows.

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 19.21.04

As an example, this portrait was painted in 1899 by Anders Zorn, and is of Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the USA.

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 19.48.19

3 thoughts on “Colour Mixing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s