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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Yellow hits the charts

Yesterday we explored yellow watercolor paints, working at discerning between the warm and cool yellows. We all know that yellow is a warm color, but which are warmer and which cooler? Some of them are very close and will no doubt differ between brands. I added in several earth colors, some of which ended up closer to orange than yellow, so that's where I put them on the wheel below.

On the chart above the cool yellows are on the right of the paper and the warms on the left. On the color wheel at right the cool ones are heading toward blue (right) and the warm ones are heading toward red (left). When you're mixing colors, yellow is a hard color to darken without changing it into a greenish-olive or a muddy brownish color. It sometimes works better to use the yellows and yellow-oranges in the earth colors toward the center of the wheel to darken yellows. The mixtures are richer.

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