Most of my paintings are done in full color, which means that I use all of the colors available from the color wheel. Within the color range I may also implement one of several color schemes used to emphasize mood, atmosphere, or lighting. Here is a look at some of the options available to you.
"Fishing on the Vermillion" is a full color painting of an early fall scene on the Vermillion River near Starved Rock State Park. I wanted to capture the light where the shallow river disappears around the bend into the distance. This is a reference I may use again, choosing a color theme that will impart a completely different emphasis or atmosphere to the painting.
One of the color schemes is Monochromatic. Using just one color from the color wheel unifies the composition. Small accents of other colors will still make the painting work.
Analogous is another possible combination–two adjacent colors on the 12 segment color wheel.
Complementary is a commonly used color scheme. Red and green are colors opposite each other on
the color wheel.
Triadic represents every fourth color on the color wheel. It is almost full color if you use the primary colors of red, yellow and blue.
Using 4 adjacent colors is Orderly–another good combination that helps creates unity.
As an artist, you have not only the choice of subject matter, medium, size, style or design, but also
the choice of using different color combinations to create a work of art that captures the perfect atmosphere or mood.