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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
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
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Barry John Raybould
Virtual Art Academy