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This painting was created through the use of SCIENCE!
I attended a lecture last week at the Art Institute of Chicago (let me take a moment to feel lucky) entitled "The Science of Impressionism". Turns out the Impressionists were very scientific in their approach to color. Specifically, they employed the use of color complements whenever possible to make their color appear more vivid and to make their paintings seem lively and full of movement.
A complementary color is located directly opposite from a color on the color wheel. Typical color complements are yellow/purple, blue/orange, and red/green.
In my painting, I surrounded the yellowish umbrella with a purple-ish background to make it stand out. The bright orange umbrella is countered by the bright blue shirt on the man. The red flowers are standing against green leaves.
During the lecture, we were able to get up close to many famous paintings to see how color complements were used.
Do you see the complements used in this Van Gogh painting? Red and green are quite obvious, and look how he put a stroke of lavender right under her chin to play off the yellow cast of her skin. Orange and blue dance about in the background. Think this was an accident? I think not!