Color Triads For Watercolor Painting

This section includes videos where we create color wheels from various sets of three.  Many of these color explorations use a set of “primary” colors – a red, a yellow and a blue. Others use a variety of primary, secondary and tertiary colors and vary in their intensity.  All of them create beautiful sets of color and lively neutrals and will enhance the unity of any painting. 

Experimenting with limited palettes of color is a great way to see new possibilities for even the most traditional subjects. Often they also inspire new work as the mixtures are often new discoveries that spark our imagination and creative flow.

One of the questions often asked about working with a limited triad is “Do we only use these, or can we add other colors?”  The short answer is that you can add other colors. Think of the triad as the “key” with the three colors making up the main chord.  As in a piece of music, the composer will sometimes deviate from the main chord by adding another note that is not part of the main chord.  It is the same with a color triad.  Although you will likely stick with the three main colors or mixtures of them – from time to time you will find a place for a new, different note. By all means, add it!  And let it harmonize with the other notes in your painting. 

How many additional color notes is enough or too much?  This too varies. In my own paintings, I seldom use more than 6 or seven colors. 

These primary color wheel practices are valuable for all the reasons listed. They also have value as fillers during those times when you want to paint, but don’t have a subject or composition in mind or you don’t have a lot of time to finish. Sitting down and down and doing one of these in a half hour or so is a great way to keep the brush in your hand even when you don’t have a great deal of time to work.

Primary Color Triad For Summer Landscape Scenes

Primary Color Triad For Summer Landscape Scenes

Working With Primary Colors In Watercolor A Set Of Three That Work Well For Winter Landscape Scenes Limiting your palette ...
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Primary Color Triad For Winter Scenes

Primary Color Triad For Winter Scenes

Working With Primary Colors In Watercolor A Set Of Three That Work Well For Winter Landscape Scenes Limiting your palette ...
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Exploring Color - Primary Triad With Unusual Colors

Exploring Color – Primary Triad With Unusual Colors

Exploring The Limited Color Palette Another Primary Triad With An Unusual Color Set Becoming a color virtuoso requires mixing a ...
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Exploring Primary Color Triads In Watercolor

Exploring Primary Color Triads In Watercolor

Working With Primary Colors In Watercolor Exploring Limited Color With Primary Triads Limiting your palette of color when painting is ...
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