Virtual Art Academy

Double Split Complementary Color Harmonies

Propriano Sunset, by Barry John Raybould
Propriano Sunset, by Barry John Raybould

(Get free painting tips and techniques sent straight to your inbox or on my social media.)

Double split complementary harmony in practice #1

Learning to master complementary color harmonies can result in some incredibly beautiful paintings. One of the most beautiful I have discovered is the double split complementary harmony. In “Propriano Sunset” I wanted to emphasize the warm colors of the low evening light hitting the buildings against the cool complementary colors in the background. For the buildings I used oranges for the walls, and reds in the tiled roofs (see Painting for Beginners: how to mix oranges). I set these warm colors off against the cooler blues in the sky and green in the palm tree on the left – a perfect application for a double split complementary harmony.

Double split complementary harmony in practice #2

Last Light, Ventana Wilderness by Barry John Raybould
Last Light, Ventana Wilderness by Barry John Raybould

I painted “Last Light, Ventana Wilderness” plein air on the dramatic Big Sur coastline of California. Looking inland as the sun sets in the west, the grass turned a warm yellow green and yellow-orange and the ominous clouds turn a beautiful red and blue violet. Another perfect double split complementary harmony!

Which colors make a double split complementary harmony?

complementary harmony

A double split complementary uses the four colors either side of the complements – in Propriano Sunset, the double split complements of red-orange and blue- green.

double split complementary harmony

Here the double split complements are the two colors either side of yellow: yellow-orange and yellow-green, and the two colors either side of violet: red-violet and blue violet.

For Beginners

  • To learn the basics of color harmony, see the lessons on color in our Virtual Art Academy® Foundation Program.

For Intermediate and Advanced artists

  • To learn everything I know about color harmony and the 18 color harmonies I have discovered, see the lessons on Color Harmonies in our Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program.

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share it with friends. If you are interested in a structured approach for learning how to paint, take a look at my online painting classes.

Happy painting!

Barry John Raybould
Virtual Art Academy

What The Students Are Saying

Double Split Complementary Color Harmonies

Add comment

A University Experience

Learn about my structured and comprehensive online painting classes.

LEARN MORE

Want More Free Tips?

Pin
Share