Mimi the Cat says Toned Color needs a little revisit…

Mimi is looking a little miffed here at my last post. Not very clear, maybe? (She’s my worst critic.)

So I’m answering the question previously posed and illustrating it a little more. Here’s the question I asked, referring to the color panel of eleven swatches shown below:

“there is only one hue in this swatch panel that is the least toned and most pure of all these choices. Still not as pure as a color straight out of the tube, but close. Can you guess which one it is? It’s very clear and bright.” Answer: the bright blue, fourth from left, bottom row.

Top left is a bright blue color swatch and a bright orange one touching it. Don’t know about you, but this is one color combo that jars my senses on a gut level. (Blue and orange are the least harmonious of complementary color pairs, as you see them across from each other on the traditional color wheel.)

However, right of this pair we see a toned blue-green, toned orange and even a further toned orange which is so darkened as to become a brown. Now we have a harmonious combination all artists can work with to achieve harmony.

“Heart of Old Town”, detail, KG Taylor

Again, here’s the answer to my question of my last post…the least toned hue was the bright blue in the palette of colors. It is also seen here in this night cityscape painting I finished last fall, and was recently sold. (I’m glad I have a photo, so I can continue the series with some cohesive thread. )

There are also oranges in the painting, all very toned. They might look bright, but colors do “pop” more when next to a neutral like black.

I’ve gotta tell you that I learned so much more about color when painting this latest one, “Heart of Old Town”. I used to be very prejudiced about using blue and orange together in a painting or quilt. No more. Once I began further color studies, and see the value of finding toned colors that can achieve beautiful, harmonious combinations, I realized we have no boundaries or road blocks in our use of color. We are free to use all, and a few guidelines help.  How excellent is that?


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One Response to “Mimi the Cat says Toned Color needs a little revisit…”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    I soooo loved that painting! you know me, the BLUE lady. I should have guessed that!!


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