For some people, picking colors for canvas paintings is very intuitive. For others, it can feel like a shot in the dark. Painting may not be rocket science, but there is definitely a science to what our eyes are naturally attracted to. If you don't feel confident selecting colors for your paintings, we have good news for you! There are four types of easy-to-learn color schemes that can make this process incredibly simple. All four of them are covered in our FREE How to Choose a Background Color course, as well as our comprehensive Foundations Studies course.
Today, we're going to cover the simplest of the four color schemes: complementary colors. The reason that this is the easiest color palette to create is that you are simply selecting opposite colors on a color wheel.
Now that you understand the concept, how do you use it? Let's put this into practice by showing some examples in paintings!
In this case, you would more than likely also want to adjust the background color from purple to something that will make the red stand out more. If you don't want to use green as the complement to red in this case, check out How to Choose a Background Color for other color palettes that would work well!
Below you'll see two examples of butterfly paintings that we made using our Butterfly Canvas Painting Kit. In one, the artist wanted the butterfly to be yellow, so they chose to make the flowers purple to complement the yellow. In the other, the artist chose orange for the butterfly, so blue was the natural choice!
As you can see, this is a super easy method for choosing two colors that look great together. Want to get more in-depth and advanced with your color theory skills? Check out our Foundations Studies courses, which each include around 10 video art lessons and everything you'll need to do several exercises and complete paintings!