Color Focus

Another very effective way to create a focal point is to use color. Color is made up of hues that are related to each other. Figure 6.45 shows a color wheel with the primary and secondary colors. Because this is a drawing book, we won't spend a great deal of time on color. Notice the arrangement of the colors around the wheel. The colors opposite each other are called complimentary colors because they tend to bring out the colors more strongly. Those that are next to each other on the wheel are called analogous colors because they tend to be more pleasing. Think of a rainbow. The arrangement of the colors in a rainbow follows the colors around the color wheel.

Figure 6.45 The colors of the color wheel follow the same order as a rainbow.

If you want to use color to focus attention, place colors opposite each other on the color wheel next to each other in your painting. The greater the intensity of the color, the more attention it will demand.

The Madonna with Canon van der Paele by Jan van Eyck is a great example of the use of color focus.

This picture is shown again in Figure 6.46.

Jan van Eyck painted much of the picture around the central figure, using green, blue, and yellow tones. The color combination sets off the red of the central figure's robe.

Figure 6.46 The red of the center figure stands out boldly. Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

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