View Full Version : CP Gladiola: Complementary Colors

08-13-2001, 01:37 PM
I don't know how many times I've read the phrase "use complementary colors to darken" and it has never sunk into my head exactly what that means. I'd get myself all :confused: trying to think of it. Purple and Yellow, Red and Green, Orange and Blue...such a simple concept, yet I could not for the life of me understand it.

Well, I *think* I finally get it now with the gladiola. It took several scrap pieces of paper working out the color scheme, deciding okay, Red and Green are complements, but what about Dark Purple and Magenta...what on earth complements those two colors??? LOL...any one else ever have that feeling or spend hours testing out colors just to see what they look like?

I finally settled on Parrot Green as a complement to enhance the shadow areas on this piece.

In layer 1, I used my warm grey 50% to do a value study, like what I did with the rose. Layer1 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Aug-2001/ivycpgladiola1.jpg)

In layer 2, I used the Parrot Green to enhance the shadow areas, and to see if it really did work, if you don't look at any other progress pictures, you'll get a kick out of this one...I showed it to my mom, she looked at me like I was insane ;) Layer2 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Aug-2001/ivycpgladiola2.jpg)

Layer 3 came along, time for the test! Here I added dark purple...wow, what a difference! Layer3 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Aug-2001/ivycpgladiola3.jpg)

Layer 4 started adding the base color of the flower, in this case magenta was added. Layer4 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Aug-2001/ivycpgladiola4.jpg)

The final scan that I did came a long way from Layer 4...I got carried away and kept going instead of scanning, but here is a breakdown: I added process red over the magenta, then pink and hot pink over the lightest areas. I added periwinkle to the edges of some of the petals, in hopes of making them recede just a bit. I finished off the stem with henna, sand, some of the dark purple and of course parrot green. The stamens (or is it pistols...sigh...where the pollen is ;) ) were done with sand, yellow ochre, henna and dark purple. The other part (stamen/pistol) was done with sky blue and a bit of the warm grey 50%.

After all that was done, is when I burnished. This took me quite a while, I'm a slow burnisher...LOL. Then I went back in with some more of the colors, to enhance and bring the colors back up a bit. All told I think I spent about 14 hours on this one, it's 5 x 5 on strathmore bristol. And I was very happy that the parrot green worked out well :). NOW I understand...LOL.


08-13-2001, 02:38 PM
This looks fabulous, such rich colours, I love it. I am as confused as you when it comes to complementary colours and all that stuff (probably why I stick to graphtie so much:) ), but you can buy a colour wheel, or you can probably even find them in books and copy them and some of them are quite extensive and will show you the complement for the colours other than the standard red yellow and blue.

But it looks like you won't need the colour wheel.... cause you did a wonderful job on this.:)

08-13-2001, 03:03 PM
Thanks Erin :) Glad to know I'm not the only one who's been in that quandry...LOL...I've looked and looked and looked at those color wheels...I must be dense cause it still didn't sink in...LOL. :D

08-13-2001, 04:04 PM
First off, nice job!! The coloring is terrific and the details are splendid!

Secondly, thanx a bunch for showing us step-by-step how the picture was created. I recently got a box of Prismacolor's for my birthday, along with one of Bet Borgeson's books, and have only managed to create pics that looked, shall we say, less than stellar.:rolleyes:

More of these "progression" threads would be very beneficial ('specially to me ;) ).


08-13-2001, 06:42 PM
Ivy thank you, thank you, thank you. This sure does help with a very confusing subject.

08-13-2001, 07:19 PM
WOW, yep you done good. This has come up lovely Ivyleaf. The gladie is gorgeous.
Thanks for the steps too. :cat:

08-13-2001, 07:37 PM
Great Job, Ivy.

the best anyone can do, is to learn and get an understanding of color and how it relates to one another. Pick up a few books and then also try this exercise.

Pick a red (pick up the paint squares from the paint or hardware store) and try putting it on different colored backgrounds. Watch how when it's next to different colors, it gives off a different appearance. Then repeat it with blues,greens, etc.

08-13-2001, 08:44 PM
Wow Ivy, this is wonderful!! I went to each step--much better visual for me to learn. I would have never picked those colors--if you think you have color problems..... Must be inherent with graphite artists LOL! Bought myself a color wheel and am wondering how it works :). Don't have any problem with values tho, that comes from graphite work. Hopefully some day I can look back and wonder why I had so much trouble.

Glad you didn't do a bouquet of these?? Whew, that was work!


08-14-2001, 12:11 AM
Maybe someday I'll figure out all these color rules. I, too, am coming over from the graphite and/or black ink world. Blues and reds in shadows. Complements to darken. My goodness there's a lot to remember.

And, Ivyleaf, you did absolutely great work on this flower! You do so well. Thank you for explaining how the colors went on and where. Helps me a lot in my learning process.

So much to learn. So little time. *sigh*

08-14-2001, 12:18 AM
Jeff, thanks :) You will find lots of good information here in the CP forum if you poke around a bit ;) Get to sharpening those pencils!

MissMouse, you're quite welcome :)

TeAnne, thanks :)

Arlene, thanks :) I'm learning as fast as I can...lol...

Shirl, thank you :) I would have done more but my poor glads didn't do so well this year :(

I am glad the steps help, I will try to scan on future projects and post them as well :) . I just enjoy sharing what I'm learning along the way in case it might help someone else out :)

08-14-2001, 12:22 AM
Thanks Yogi, I know exactly how you feel! LOL...lots to learn and having fun doing it :)

08-14-2001, 05:48 AM
Ivy, this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Well done!:clap:
Thanks so much for the progress links too. Really helpful to us all.

08-14-2001, 12:08 PM
:o Thanks Lulu, am glad you like it :)