Garden Menagerie II by Fargo Artist Ellen Jean Diederich
Using complementary colors adds richness to your palette!
I went up to Park Rapids, MN with my camera and found an abundance of subject matter. This garden portrays a Gardner who is not afraid to work and most likely continues adding flowers all summer long. This garden is rich with snap dragons and mums and many late summer flowers. When we plant flowers in the spring, it is good to remember the fall flowers with their spectacular colors.
Sometimes I nickname a palette. I call this a “ginger palette”. In this painting, there is a dominance of Orange and Blue, which are color complements that are spiced up with some of their neighbors. Color complements have particularly powerful mixing properties. For example if you have too much of something, adding the complement is the easiest way to get rid of it, or…you can really make people look when you put complements side by side. On the color wheel you go straight across from a color to locate the complement. Memorize Blue is the complement of Orange; Red is the complement of Green and Yellow is the complement of Violet. You can learn a lot about how this works by limiting your palette to two colors and changing them in purity and intensity. When you set them side by side, they bring each other out and when you mix them, they tone each other down.
Try making a painting limiting the palette to two color compliments. Be sure to leave some white space and work with a variety of values. We will be working with compliments in my upcoming “Joy of Color Red” workshop May 20th-23rd. This class will be a treat and it’s still not too late to sign up! I dreamt again the other night about the exercises that will get you excited about exploring the color Red!
See this original painting Garden Menagerie II at the Underbrush Gallery in Fargo.