Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Color Study- Complementary Colors

While not part of the original color study exercise I did, I got inspired to do some other studies that would be helpful references to have on hand. This one has the basic 9 step value chart in black and white, and then 4 combinations of complements to get neutrals.

 The pairs I chose for this study were:

 Ultramarine (UB) and Transparent Oxide Red (TOR)
Permanent Mauve and Yellow Ochre
 Viridian and Permanenet Rose
 and Thalo Green and Alizarin

 I started with one of the pair right out of the tube at one end of the top row and the complementary color at the other end, then got a middle mixture ( middle column) and then skewed one version warmer and one cooler . Once I had the top line, I added white in rows below to get a couple of other values of each of the neutrals.

For example- the "T" on the upper left is
 Row 1 the 5 boxes are:   Pure Ultramarine, UB & TOR( skewed cooler) , the middle mixture of UB and TOR, a warmer mixture of the 2 and the pure Transparent  Oxide Red. Then I took the 3 mixtures and added white to each one to lighten in row 2 and then in the 3rd row added even more white for another lighter value of the same mixture. To get a range of temperatures and values of a neutral from each pair of complements.

 I repeated that same approach for the other 3 pairs of complements.

On the bottom of the page I tried 2 different combinations of red/ green. I learned that the Viridian was so weak in tinting power vs Permanent Rose it was hard to keep it greener( the pinker tones dominate). The Thalo Green/Alizarin combo on the right was easier to get colors that read more like true grays.


  1. Pat, you list "Permanent Mauve", but don't mention it in your results. This is a new color to me, is it Winsor Newton? Also, I've used Viridian/Alizarin combination for a nice gray, but hadn't tried Thao Green/Alizarin. Oh, so many options, right?

  2. Permanent Mauve is a color I used as a complement to the Yellow Ochre, but is not one I did a full chart on. I had limited # of columns so used Magenta instead for my other charts. The Mauve is a little cooler, more towards purple. It can be seen on it's own in the "T" in the upper right side- the first box on the left is Perm. Mauve and the extreme right is Yellow Ochre and then in between are the mixes. Thalo /Aliz can get you a very dark, near black, transparent. Thalo Green has more tinting power than Viridian, so it is pretty potent. Give it a try.