Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Complimentary colors are opposite colors on the color wheel and they always work well together in a painting. In this case, red violet and yellow green are the complimentary colors that I used for the basis of my color scheme. They are known as tertiary colors and they result from mixing a primary color with a secondary color. There are other colors in this painting such as blue violet and blue green, also tertiary colors, and yet my original complimentary colors red violet and yellow green still dominate the color scheme.
Complimentary colors and tertiary colors are examples of some of the information that can be learned from studying the color wheel. Now for the first time there is a color wheel specifically for watercolor available at your local art supply store. It is such a valuable tool and I recommend it to all my fellow watercolorists. It will show you what happens when you mix two colors together, what happens when you add water to a color, different color schemes, and a whole lot more.
This is actually a close up of a much larger painting which is 40 x 60 inches. I enjoy doing close ups like this for my own amusement because I can study different sections and see if they work together the way I want. It allows me to study colors, values, shapes, and edges in different sections of a large painting. I usually try to complete my paintings with about 50 percent hard edges and 50 percent soft edges. It never comes out exactly that way but it is a good ratio to think about. If I can see shapes, instead of individual parts and details, it helps me simplify the composition. Regarding values, I make sure I have a strong range of six or seven values from light to dark. Regarding color, using a color schemes like I mentioned earlier, is helpful and careful mixing without stirring the colors up keeps the mixtures rich and clean.
For the large hollyhock I used mixtures of cobalt violet, cerulean blue and mineral violet. The different greens are combinations of olive green, lemon yellow, ultramarine blue, and cerulean blue. With an understanding of color schemes, values, shapes, and edges I can actually free up my imagination and paint with more freedom and spontaneity. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton
MY BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A JOYOUS NEW YEAR.