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Step-by-step: Get to know the colour wheel

1. In this colour wheel the complementary colours are on the opposite sides of the wheel. You can create grey colours by mixing complementary colours, so using the colour wheel as a guide doesn’t mean applying bright, shiny colours. Chromatic grey created by mixing colours usually looks better than grey made up of pure black and white.

2. For this example I want to paint an ore chasing a faerie. As I imagine the scene, there will be a dark background and a bright foreground, so instead of using a similar colour palette for all the image, I choose to use a complementary palette. It’ll look more appealing and I can separate the foreground from the background to make the image easier to read.

3. Even if I choose to use green and blue colours for the.background, this doesn’t mean that I have to use exclusively green and blue. The richer your colours are, the better. As long as I keep the general hues between bluish and greenish, I can (and should) add slightly different colours, such as red or brown, to improve the ore’s design and to depict him more clearly.

4. By combining two complementary colours, -manage to separate one figure from the other, which creates more depth in the image, and also a more appealing final composition. But I need to remember that the colours are affected by other colours on the scene, so I must reflect that. If I don’t put a bit of orange on the parts next to the faerie, it won’t work.

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