In this lesson we are going to use what’s known as a “split-complementary” harmony. A dominant color is selected (a prominent color in the still life): in this case yellow-green (the color of our succulent still-life subject). The two split complements are included in the harmony (the two colors located on either side of yellow-green’s complement: in this case red, and violet).
(Red and violet are on either side of red-violet, which is the direct complement of yellow-green). We’re including some grays, and white. We also choose a couple of tints and tones of the colors in the harmony – the easier to create immediate lights and darks. Let’s start by making a tonal gray scale warm-up drawing, after studying the still-life that has a strong light source on it.
Then we’ll sketch a quick contour line drawing, block in lights, darks, and middle values.
Now our eyes are sensitized to color as value interpreted, so we’ll go for the same evaluation in color this time:
We use a soft, cool gray for the deep background space. Now some of my students’ work in class.
A students work above during class. I like the variety of points of view on the same still life. Good mixing values and colors. Below, some homework drawings of a split complementary color harmony but with a different dominant color, and therefore different split complements:
Good work, everyone!