View Full Version : An Idea for Color in Landscape

06-18-2001, 11:43 AM
I don't do much landscape, but I wanted to float an idea across here and see if anyone could give me some advice or improvements to it.

Use the Complementary Analagous Color Scheme to paint a landscape:

- Do the underpainting in pure hues - Red, Blue, Yellow
- Do the overpainting with the complementary and analagous hues..i.e., the colors to the left and right of the undertone, plus its opposite on the color wheel

For example, if you were to paint a sky, you would paint the underpainting with values of a pure blue (like Cerulian). For overpainting the sky, you mix values of Purple Blue, Blue Green, and Yellow-Red. The paint in the overpaintings is applied to leave spots of the pure blue underpainting showing through. The amount of blending is up to the artist.

What do folks think? Would this work? I am going to try it on a small landscape and will post my results - regardless of how horrible (or hopefully great) it may turn out! :)

Phyllis Rennie
06-18-2001, 08:31 PM
Interesting concept. I think it will probably work. Of course, I'm one of those people who think that if you get the values correct, you can use any color and the viewer will see it correctly. I would guess that you'll end up with a painting that looks very atmospheric. Be sure to post the results and maybe some descriptions of the process.

06-19-2001, 02:10 AM
I was also thinking about trying something like this, but haven't got the courage to try it.
Just make sure that the underpainting is darker than the highlights, and the base colors are usually cooler (purplish, greyish, bluish, brownish (even though brown is actually a warm color). And the highlights are brighter, more intense and warmer colors.
The way you describe doing the sky should work. But I don't think you could paint the base of the ground in red or yellow. You can't put highlights on top of pure yellow! You need a relatively dark underpainting (and often a duller color)in order for the highlights to show.
But try it, I could be wrong. I'd also like to see the results, whether good or bad!

06-19-2001, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the replies! Actually I was not contemplating using the primary colors in the underpainting without mixing (if necessary) - if the grass is green, then I will mix a green from the base blue and yellow. The point is to use the primary color combinations only in the underpainting and then use the complementary and analagous colors only in the overpainting.

I will try something along this line this week and post a pic of it. :)

06-19-2001, 01:05 PM
It sounds beautiful. I can't wait to see it!


06-19-2001, 02:48 PM
Please do post the results! Sounds interesting!
Domer: Don't be afraid! It's only paint! ;)

06-20-2001, 02:26 AM
Michael its going to take someone with your skills to pull that off.
I'm like the rest, just can't wait to see how you do.



06-23-2001, 03:51 AM
intresting concept..cant wait to see it :)

06-23-2001, 07:18 AM
You're not talking about doing all that outdoors are you? The most I've had time to do is stain the surface with a complimentary color - usually cad red mixed with yellow because of all the greens out there now. What you're talking about sounds like it will make a more vibrant painting - just wondering if there's enough time to do all that in an outdoor setting?