Creating Color Harmony

“If there is a common theme relating to the perception of color harmony, I believe that nature holds the key.” – Michael Wilcox

I continue to explore what has been written about color harmony and find ideas to share with you here on my blog.  “ Perception of color harmony varies by race, geographical location, historical period, and gender of the viewer. However, sorting a random pile of colors by hue, by lightness, saturation, or any other attribute results in a color arrangement that is more attractive” (from Wilcox.)

palette for Lily Pond painting
palette for Lily Pond painting

This can be applied to composing your painting. Mixing a sequence of colors that gradually changes by saturation and value, then applying these colors to your painting, may enhance the color harmony. Here is an example of cool greens using Cobalt Blue and Hansa Yellow mixtures, using Titanium White to vary the values.

I started with the straight tube colors in the corners and made the top row mixtures. As the array shifts from left to right, there is more blue and less yellow and the mixture becomes cooler. Then I gradually added more white to each subsequent row. This array can be created using any two colors.  The resultant 15 colors will have a unity of color perception. These colors were used in the final stages of Lily Pond Flora. (Alternatively, instead of white, try black to see a different array in the dark value family.)

Color is not given to us in order that we should imitate nature. It was given us so that we can express our own emotions.” – Henri Matisse

Lily Pond Flora 14x18
Lily Pond Flora 14×18


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