Just finished this book - pretty much all about color, contrasting & harmonious. Not too much new in it, but still it was a good refresher, reminding me that I rarely think about changing the colors that I see...
For instance, in the chapter entitled: Energize Your Paintings with Contrasts and Complements, Janice Gennaway says, "Like emotions, colors are a reflection of life." Connie Zekas BAiley says, "Color brings excitement to a painting, whether pure and bold or through gradation. Courage to change the color of what I see to what I WANT to see enables me to aim for a bold, colorful, sparkling statement."
Here is one of Connie's paintings illustrating the colors she WANTED in the white areas of the cat and in the background.
In Splash 15, Joyce Hicks makes a big point about changing the scene to say what you want to say with your painting. Here are a few photos from that book to illustrate that point.
Here you can see more about reflected color in a different cat!
Here are a few other examples concerning the use of color in our paintings. First, making connections with color. The artists used the complementary color of lavender/purple to connect her primarily warm floral composition.
Below, the artist used both geometric forms in the background and softened complementary colors to create a wonderful composition with the humble cows as her subject matter.
Here is an example of analogous colors (3 colors next to one another on the color wheel) and how to use them effectively (with the use of one complementary color - opposite the analogous colors on the color wheel).
And, of course, there are monochromatic colors that work extremely well for creating mood and atmosphere, as shown in the paintings below:
Below, the artist is creating the mood felt at sunset, when the world is calming down. He's using the same yellow tones, but dimmed with a lot more of of the complementary color to diffuse the power of the yellow as it stands alone.
So you see, one can learn by reading, exploring the art of others, listening to their reasons for what they have done, noting the composition and color selections and why they work successfully, or less so, depending upon the painting!
I believe I will pay a lot more attention now to what I really want to bring forward in my painting, rather than simply looking at my palette and choosing the colors that I see in what it is that I have chosen to paint. Color choices make a HUGE difference to all paintings!