The painting above is my 32nd painting exercise from the book Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 Small Paintings by Mark Daniel Nelson. This lesson is about accenting with complementary colors. Complementary colors are opposites on the color wheel. This concept is similar to the one in the previous lesson. Both lessons are about using contrasting colors for effect. This one is a just bit less dramatic. Its harmonious blue and green color scheme is simply livened up a bit by the bright rust color which is derived from orange.
For my own example I did another Grand Canyon scene which is dominantly cool like the example. The distant orange rock formations create the warm colored accents.
I have to say that I’m very happy about the way this one turned out except for the way the orange rock formation is sitting too close to the center. This brings up three points to consider.
- The first is that in an informally balanced composition like this you should never place an object directly in the center.
- The second is that, even if you took the photo yourself, you may still need to tweak your composition a bit in the painting process.
- The third is a problem with the medium: acrylics dry a shade darker. This can make “tweaking” a bit difficult because it can be hard to match the original colors. Which means you sometimes have to choose between the risk of ruining the whole thing or just leaving it alone.
I liked this painting enough to just let that little rock formation stay there in the center.