It is beneficial to understand complementary colors for use in any artistic medium, but in painting it is absolutely fundamental. Yet it can feel daunting and confusing and the word complementary doesn’t help. Red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple when placed next to each other full strength are really pretty harsh, not “complementary” at all. Being across from each other on the color wheel they are actually “Opposite Colors” which seems more appropriate and applicable.
Learning to use Opposite Colors properly moves your painting towards the customary definitions of “complement.” As noun: Something that completes or makes perfect. As Verb: To complete; form a complement to.
In this 3-part series we will take each pair of opposite colors and learn how to use them full strength but more importantly how to mix them to get beautiful tonal shades that will please the eye and perfect your work.