Two of the paintings from last Tuesday’s Blues Jam provide examples of the Analogous Split Complements Color Scheme.

Big Boy Benny and Keith Van Etten playing at the Blues Jam

In the painting above, the analogous colors are Blue-Green, Blue and Blue-Violet.  The complements are yellow-orange and red.  Of course, I see there is also yellow in there.  When I paint during live performances I am not thinking about color schemes at all.  The next day, while looking at the paintings spread out on the floor, I analyze the color schemes that somewhat apply to the paintings.  By doing so, I become more in tune with color schemes that please me and that express various emotions and moods.

Brian Bam Bridges (Drums) Justine Gardner (Bass)

This second example is the reverse of the first.  The analogous colors are on the warm side of the color wheel, yellow, yellow-orange, and red.  The complements are blue and violet.

For me, the importance of breaking paintings down into color schemes is simply to force myself to explore and understand how the colors work together in a painting so that when I paint en plein air or in the studio, I have more color control.  I want the mood expressed in the painting to be of my choice rather than the result of colors I arbitrarily use, triggered by the reality of the scene I am looking at.  I want to be able to create the illusion of a cloudy day when painting on a sunny day.

The technique is the same for both paintings.  I begin by drawing in black ink with a dip pen and follow with watercolor.

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