Friday, August 26, 2016

Palettes: on color combinations & experimentations

When proceeding to the final step in an art piece, it can be challenging to find the accurate colors that are needed to express a feeling for each illustration to create an emotional experience through color.

Here you can find some helpful tips for experimentation, as well as some images with colors that I find greatly interesting and inspiring! 

-Mixing colors
 Finding the right single color for a specific object is the first challenge, here are some mixes of color that I have found very helpful:

  • Emerald or aqua green + magenta = purple, depending on how much you add of each color it can be colder or warmer

  • Hostaperm blue (Phtalo blue) + white = royal blue close to cerulean blue

  • Red-orange (Pyrrole orange) + green-yellow (chromium oxide green + lemon yellow) + white = ochre

  • Hostaperm green (Phtalo green) + Lemon yellow = wild green

-Color combinations
We might say that we love a specific color, but sometimes we might actually refer to a color contrasting other color (or set of colors) which individually might not be as compelling, but when put next to each other are incredibly beautiful.

Example: blue and yellow during the blue hour. Image source: Shutterbug
(Thanks to my friend Beka for the inspiration on these colors) 

Here are some color combinations that might help you create an interesting palette:

  • Contrasting all colds against one warm color / contrasting all warms against one cold color


  • Colors that are very close in the color wheel against one contrasting color from the opposite side of the color wheel

    Source: Prismacolor color wheel, Pinterest
  • Triads. You can vary in saturation and value

    Source: Prismacolor color wheel, Pinterest
-Color charts

Cool  vs warm colors. Background vs foreground?

*All color results here were made with Indart acrylics and Liquitex white

Some helpful links on color: 

What are your favorite color combinations ? What are your color recipes?

Thanks for stopping by!

Ana Aranda writes/illustrates for children and creates murals.
You can find her work at 
these different locations:
Twitter: @anaranda2

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