Drawing With Color 2.5 (also called 2.3 in revised class)

Compositions in Hi-Key: light values, with pin-points of dark emphasis. A wonderful way to create visual punctuation points throughout your drawing.

We’re going to use light tints of the chosen palette. Students may choose their palette based on their perception of color relationships, what they see as a dominant color helping to choose the direction the palette should go in. Remember, choosing which palette to use should be based on the overall impact of the colors that you see in the composition before you. Having experience using many different harmonies will help you choose which one is appropriate for any given subject matter.

Below are notes on this session, as well as the simultaneous Level 1 Drawing with Color class, which mirrors the curriculum.



In the above drawing, I used a simple harmony: a pair of complementary colors with the addition of two colors analogous to one of the primaries, in this case: yellow (the dominant color of the rose) and violet, with yellow-green and yellow-orange (both analogous to yellow).


In the above drawing, I chose green as the dominant color, and used red as the complement, with green and yellow-green as the analogous. Technically, for better contrast when using a simple harmony, it is more advisable to use two analogous colors that sit on one side or the other from a hue. That is the case with this drawing’s palette. In the first example, the two analogous sandwich the dominant color (exist on either side).

I create a simple square value scale color using the 4 colors, as can be seen on each of the examples above.


This beautiful rose has all the colors that exist in this palette. Here are some of my students working on their pieces.



Roses make a beautiful, albeit complicated subject to draw!

Following are three drawings students did for homework, using the same hi-key harmony, with a different palette:




Next stop: using middle values, a place many of us can get stuck in, but we’re going to embrace it. For the moment.

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