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Looking at Yellow

January 17, 2017

Yellow is a bully . . . there is nothing meek about it, even in its palest tints. It is the lightest brightest color available next to white. Balancing light bright colors next to other mid range or dark value colors is always a challenging opportunity.  The game you play next is all about proportion. How much can be used in a composition before yellow takes over? Of course you can always begin with the idea that yellow will be the key color and the others will be subordinate or you can decide from the outset that yellow will be in smaller quantities. I am always surprised by newcomers to art who proclaim a dislike for yellow in general. They sometimes follow up with: I can’t wear that color or don’t want it to decorate my house.  When approaching art as an adult, I believe that it is advantageous to begin to look at  color closely once again, with new eyes. The lovely thing about working as an artist is that you have permission to rethink your old ideas and become flexible about endless possibilities of creating interesting color. The photos below, some from students (thank you) and myself have yellows that are in different proportions, and are interacting with other colors . Click on each photo to see what you think about the grey, green, orange, black and blue that are interacting with yellow.  Give Yellow a chance!  Gail Harker

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane Mularz permalink
    January 17, 2017 10:10 am

    Yellow was my mother’s favorite color and I always shied away from it until her death. I had purchased a beautiful yellow silk blouse for myself but never wore it; saving it for some special occasion. I took it with me when I traveled to what would be the death of my Mom. I ended up burying her in that blouse. And now I see yellows everywhere that make me smile.

  2. Penny Peters permalink
    January 17, 2017 6:50 pm

    What a glorious cheerful color, especially now that we have our grey skies back!

  3. January 17, 2017 10:50 pm

    Love all the different yellows in this post. It’s nice to see all the examples together.

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