Monday, July 20, 2009

Lesson 2 (Pt. 2): The Color Wheel

"In art, there is a feeling of harmony which underlies all endeavor. There is no true greatness in art without that sense of harmony." -Albert Einstein

This statement by Albert Einstein represents the objective of true art: to help create the atmosphere of order and harmony. As we covered in the last lesson, art today is full of despair, confusion, and ultimately, disorder, (anything goes.)

The color wheel creates a solution to this problem. To know your color wheel and to follow its suggestions, is to know order. God was the master of creating order. When you study the color wheel and the different color schemes, you will begin to wonder at the order and beauty of nature around you. God really knew what He was doing when He created the world.

The first color scheme, (and one of the most common in the realist world,) is the analogous color scheme. This color scheme is the scheme that portrays three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These three colors can change depending on the color wheel used. Some color wheels represent that these three colors are red, yellow and green. Others suggest, yellow, yellow-green, and green. The later is more common though not as vibrant in color. This color scheme is known as the most harmonious of all.

The second color scheme is the complimentary color scheme, (which is one of my favorites.) It is the color scheme that has the colors that sit on the opposite sides of the color wheel. This is one of the most vibrant color schemes out of all of the color schemes available on the color wheel and it can become too vibrant if you're not careful. It usually consists of the colors of red and green or purple and green. (etc.) I like to think of it as the "Christmas color scheme."

Another one of my favorite color schemes is the triadic color scheme. It uses three colors equally spaced around on the color wheel. This scheme is popular among artists because it offers strong visual contrast while retaining balance, and color richness. The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but artists like it because it generally looks more balanced and harmonious.

Whatever color scheme you use, know what the pros and cons are. Learn what you want to communicate to your audience, and always create your own style with purpose. I pray that God richly blesses you as you experiment with colors! =)

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