Van Gogh's Use of Complimentary Colors
Painted In Paris In The Summer Of 1887
This oil on canvas by Van Gogh is rendered with stunning complimentary colors (colors that are opposites on the color wheel). In this case, the opposites are blue and orange, purple and yellow, and red and green. In color theory, this combination of colors is known as a six tone chord (hexagon).
Van Gogh was a master of color, drawing, and composition. He knew how to use just the right amount of a colors compliment to enhance the original hue.
As long as I can remember, I've been intrigued by color. I've spent years studying its complexity by making my own color charts and complex color wheels. Learning the difference between warm blues and cool blues, warm reds and cool reds, warm yellows and cool yellows, made all the difference in the world in my paintings.
I'm deeply inspired by the illustrious and profound work of Van Gogh. A friend of mine traveled to New York City for business. While there, she visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was totally blown away by seeing Van Gogh's work in person. She told me that before her trip, she really didn't get my deep affection for his paintings. Now, she's a convert and believer in his mastery and use of color! She also gets why my paintings seem vibrant and alive.
Knowing how to mix colors without having them turn to mud, realizing how to tone down a color without using black, and knowing how to choose the right colors for a painting, is as crucial to my artistry as air is to breathing. It's the difference between ending up with a mediocre painting and one that sings with delight.
A patron recently sent me this review, "Jill’s paintings sing with vibrant color."