Here is the color wheel again. I was asked by a reader what pigments I used to make it. I set out to make it using only Cadmium yellow, permanent red and cobalt blue. I discovered though that I needed to use a little cobalt violet to get the violet to show and I used a little quinacridone over in the red-violet, I also fed a little cadmium orange into the orange note. I think if I had used quinacridone red or permanent alizarin all the way through it would probably have worked better. But I wanted the colors to be real clear and distinct in order to clearly illustrate my points.
Here is a analogous color scheme plus a complement. This is a very common color scheme. We have all seen the lady in the red hat dropped into a green landscape. The eye is very pleased to find a little bit of the complementary color in a picture based on an analogous scheme. If you look at the color wheel at the top you can pick out several more of these. The greens against red is only one of the possible variations on this.
The analogous plus a complement is a real workhorse combination and is a sure fire way to get a simple, pleasing color scheme in a painting.
Above is a corner of a color scheme that I want to tell you about. This is really a strange thing. We usually are told that primaries are not mixable, they just ARE. But if you mix together the colors on either side of a primary, you get the primary. It is somewhat grayed, but there it is, just the same. In other words if you mix the two colors flanking the yellow note, you will get yellow. Weird, huh?
Here is another variation. Rather than each of the three hues being identical and evenly balanced with each other, two of them are subordinated . The yellow is the dominant and the two flanking colors are reduced in chroma. This gives artistic inequality. With one the dominant and the other two subordinate a more artful effect is gained.