I’m thrilled to announce that we’re adding another contributor to the Lines Across team: Kristine of Olive Twig Studio. Kristine is such a talented artist, and I especially looked forward to the weekly color theory posts that she shared on Instagram. Between my LOVE of color and my slight nerdiness, I just found these so interesting, and asked Kristine to share more with us once a month. Be sure to check out her beautiful shop, and follow along with Kristine on Instagram and Facebook.
Hi! I’m Kristine from Olive Twig Studio. I’m honored to be contributing to Lines Across by giving Color Theory lessons.
I’ve been studying art almost my whole life and earned my BFA in Art & Design. During my education was enthralled by my Color Theory classes. The most famous color theorist is Luscher. He thought that colors have inherent, universal meaning and invented a personality test based on how we react to them. If you are interested you can take a version of the test here. (It was hilariously accurate for me!)
My first lesson is on RED:
Red lives on the “warm” side of the color wheel. Even though red is inherently a warm color, there are cool toned reds (teenie bit closer to violet) and warm toned reds (teeny bit closer to orange).
Red and other warm colors can increase a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism and hunger. (So… not the best choice for painting your baby’s nursery!) Ever notice that all fast food companies have red in their logo, packaging and restaurants? It’s to make you hungrier! Yellow is the other color that fast food chains seem to use a lot – also a “warm” color that has a similar effect.
Associations that people have: with red are: fire, blood, energy, war, danger, strength, power, as well as passion, desire, and love. Light red (pink) symbolizes romance, love, friendship, femininity, while dark reds (burgundy) can symbolize vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, malice, wrath or masculinity. (A big range, huh?)
According to Pantone (the authority on color) “Marsala” is the 2015 color of the year (a burgundy hue). So it’s trendy too!
The opposite color of red on the color wheel is green – it is red’s “complimentary color”. Red & green might seem quite Christmas-y to pair together, but they are found together in nature all the time! A couple of my favorite red & green pairings are tomato red with mint green and rose pink and olive green. The tomato red is warm and fairly dark, and the mint is cool and light. The rose pink is cool and light and the olive green is dark and warm.
Mixing a color with its opposite will always create a dark brown shade. For all of the paintings in these photos I only used red and green paint. I painted this pretty flower crown lady (pictured above) especially for this lesson to demonstrate the range of tones you create with just red and green paint. Her eyebrows, eyelashes, hair and skin color are all a mix of red & green). Try using a little bit of a color’s complement to make a shadow on an object (instead of black) next time you paint. It creates a more realistic deep shade.
I hope you enjoyed the first color theory lesson! My goal is that you learned something new and feel inspired to use color in a new way. I’d love to see anything you create with your new knowledge on red – tag it #OliveTwigLA and spread the color theory love. If you are a fan of the pretty flower crown lady painting, she is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.