The neutral gray divides the warms and cools while, at the same time it ties them together.

Todd Wolfe and Shellie Mitchell

Transitions between colors create mood, energy and movement in a painting.  Transitions can be abrupt or subtle.  Transitions act as cliffs to fall from or stairs to take at one’s own pace.

Double complementary color schemes can appear static if the shapes are or similar size and / or quantity.  Shapes of neutral color may be used wisely to throw the balance off a bit and breathe a bit of life into the painting.  In this painting, the neutral of Todd’s shirt keeps the blue background from coming forward into the space of Todd and Shellie’s heads and the saxophone.

I rarely use red/green when playing with double complementary color schemes.  Red and green are too close in color value.  Purple / yellow as well as blue / orange provide a full and dramatic range of color value even in an undiluted wash.

Painting: Drawn first with black ink using dip pen, followed by washes of watercolor.