Part II Unexpected Color Combinations


Here is another painting of 17th Street from my ongoing series of downtown Denver paintings. One reason for doing this series is to explore the use of color. For this cityscape, I wanted to capture the noise, traffic, hustle and bustle during the daily rush hour. In my last email, I mentioned that often when I see artists change colors from what they see, the colors do not appear to agree with each other. Here I used the complimentary colors of red and green to create high contrast and set the mood. Complimentary colors always work well together but bright complimentary colors can be jarring in a painting. One way to address this problem is to link them with colors of the same families. I broke down the red building by adding yellow and orange, allowing them to mix on the paper. Then I repeated the red, orange and yellow in the dominate taxi cab and I even used a small accent of green to relate the cab to the large mass of green trees. That brings me to another dilemma. Are you aware that "the standard rules for mixing colors" do not always work when mixing watercolor paint? This will be addressed in my next email in a few days as we continue to look at solving problems in color. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

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