Some say the rule of thirds, or the rule of two-thirds is the safest way to choose a pleasing combination of colors for your project. Using your color wheel, you choose your main color, the color directly across from it, and an accessory color to the left or right of the main color. For instance on a simple color wheel you have six colors to choose from; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. You could choose blue as your primary color, orange as the color directly across from it, and violet as your accessory color. Simple right? But there are many other tertiary colors to choose from also, and this is where many of the colors of nature reside.
My personal favorite color pallet would be all the colors you might find in a tropical lagoon. The turquoise to cobalt blue of the water, the multi-colored shimmering beauty of the sand, and the green of tropical foliage.
Another natural color pallet you might choose is a yellow to orange, to purple sunset, or pink cherry blossoms against a beautiful blue sky.
The colors of the Earth are many, but most of us don’t have enough room in our pallet or money to own them all. I know that I certainly don’t. My pallet contains seventeen colors if you include the Paynes gray that I use for black and the designer gouache Permanent White that I have, and I end up mixing everything else. I plan to buy a few more colors for convenience, like my favorite turquoise, but I don’t think that I will ever own them all. Possibly if I owned a studio large enough for more, I might be tempted, because I love collecting art supplies as much as everyone else, but for the time being, my table in the corner of my family room is full!
I hope that you have fun experimenting with your color combinations, and remember to look at nature if you become stuck.
Here’s to dreaming in color.
Mixed media art journal by Ranger, 5 1/2 by 7 inches
Daniel Smith watercolors: French Ultramarine, Undersea green, Cerulean blue, Serpentine genuine, Burnt sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Naples yellow, Burnt umber, Paynes gray, Yellow ochre
Windsor Newton watercolor: Cadmium orange, Windsor violet, permanent rose, Cadmium yellow, Raw umber, Permanent white gouache, Cadmium red
M Graham: Raw sienna
Canson XL watercolor paper: 140 lb
“The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and sing. What a mistake that would be.” Joan Oliver Goldsmith (writer)