Do we artists dance with colors? I think we do, at least I know I dance with complementary colors. And as with any dancing partners, some partners dance together better than others.
The color dancing partners I am referring to are the color complements (also called color opposites) that are essential in understanding color mixing & experiencing success. As you probably know, the 3 color complements ‘dancing partners’ are:
It is important and very helpful to memorize these partners to maximize your color skills. You can memorize them outright or another way to remember them is by starting with one primary, such as red, and then ‘mixing’ the other two primaries in your head. In this case, the remaining primary colors of yellow + blue = green. Hence, green is the color opposite of red.
Note: Primaries are defined as the colors we cannot mix.
Staying with the musical theme, I encourage my color students to paint chromatic scales using two color opposites pairs. An example is below. I have chosen a pair of complementary colors and then mixed various proportions of the two to create wonderful and luscious hues. You can see all of the lovely colors that can be mixed with these ‘dancing partners.’