We're an online artist community sharing ways to create and sell art. Try one of our easy websites for artists or just browse around and enjoy!

VIDEO: How to Create Intense, Vibrant Paintings with Complementary Colors

Painting from life always brings with it a certain set of challenges, but perhaps the biggest challenge is finding a way to recreate those vibrant, light-filled colors that saturate the air around us—all while using opaque oil paints.

Forget correct proportions and drawing skills; just getting the colors right feels like an impossible task. Or is it even possible to achieve bright, realistic “lights” and colors in an oil painting?

Well, as you’ll see in a moment, it IS possible. The trick lies in using contrasting complementary colors to fool our eyes into thinking the colors we see are more vibrant and more intense than they actually are.

In today’s video, Caroline Jasper demonstrates some of the basic ways that our eyes naturally search for colors where none exist, and how we can use that to our advantage. Take a look:

You can also get Caroline’s full oil painting workshop on DVD at Creative Catalyst.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Our eyes instinctively seek out areas of contrast, no matter what we're looking at—so it makes sense to add patterns high-intensity contrast to our artwork as well. In the video below, George James demonstrates one method for creating a pattern of light and dark in a painting. And as you'll see in just a moment, it really doesn't matter how the light is actually hitting the figure. . . this technique is all about creating a pattern of visual interest for the viewer. Take a look: . . read more

More related articles
If you're looking for something else. . .
Love the Easel?

Subscribe to our totally free weekly newsletter for artists. Sign up today!

Art Contests
More art contests. . .
Other Stuff
EE Writers
Cassie Rief Niki Hilsabeck Lisa Orgler Carrie Lewis Aletta de Wal Phawnda Moore

If you'd like to write for EmptyEasel, let us know!

We love publishing reader-submitted art tutorials, stories, and even reviews.Submit yours here!
© 2006-2019 EmptyEasel.com About Contact Sitemap Privacy Policy Terms of Use Advertise