Warm and Cool – Part 2

First, happy Independence Day! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. My country isn’t perfect, but I sure am glad to live here and be able to paint cephalopods in my free time. Speaking of which, there’s new content up at MegLyman.com.

Today I’ll explore more warm and cool colors. See this post for the introduction to the experiment. I will attempt to draw conclusions. You are welcome to chime in.

Here’s my first experiment: red and yellow together. Also known as orange: the color of construction, and when put next to navy blue, the colors of the Chicago Bears. GO BEARS! Ahem.

Warm and cool 2

On the left, I mixed oranges with “like” primaries – that is, I mixed warms with warms and cools with cools. On the right, I combined warms and cools.

The orange in the upper left corner is the most vibrant. It’s certainly a warm orange, and has the most life to it. If I wanted to paint a vibrant giant pacific octopus, I’d use that combination.

The orange at the lower left is more muted. It’s definitely more muddy and cool than the warm/warm orange. I think there are two reasons for that: first, orange is generally a warm color, so making a cool orange is a bit difficult. Second, the cool red I used has a lot of blue in it (you know, its being “cadmium red purple” and all) and that means there were really three primaries in the mix, making it more brown and muddy.

The orange on the lower right is an interesting one. It’s fairly vibrant and light; I think it is the most successful cool orange I mixed. Using the warm red instead of the cool one really gets rid of the brown look. It’s sort of pastel orange, almost peachy, and I like it.

The orange in the upper right is the muddiest of all. I think this is because it mixes warm and cool AND it includes all three primaries. But it’s orange mud, for sure. In fact, if it ever rains again in Georgia, this is will be the color of my yard.

In conclusion, the warm/warm mix created the most vibrant orange, and the warm yellow/cool red created the muddiest orange. But the most important conclusion is that you should do your own color tests, because I still have no idea what I’m doing. Check back after a few more posts.

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