Journal Entry#4: Open entry. Use photos, videos, etc., to discuss a topic in art
education that is of interest to you.
Complementary colours in an artwork can effectively portray a mood or explain a topic clearly through their strong contrast. I find that learning about the colour wheel and complementary colours has had a great impact on my artwork. They create balanced and striking paintings.
In my high school experience, the colour wheel was not explained. We were simply told to paint it, and the teacher never expanded on the topic. Once the use of the colour wheel was explained to me at university, it has helped me to not only create better paintings in their visual sense, but to portray my feelings more strongly and effectively. Topics such as my identity as an immigrant was better demonstrated through the use of the contrasting orange and blue to show the difference in warmth and mood in both countries, as is shown in one of my artworks below.
Laura Bassem S. Saleh, (Painting from diptych:) Melting, 2016.
Thus, educating students about complementary colours gives them the power to better express themselves regardless of their interests in art. For example, the painting below by Eyvind Earle is one used for the film “Sleeping Beauty”, and engages the eyes as it follows the characters of colours complementary to the background, showing that the colour wheel can also contribute to storytelling. Another use of contrasting colours is
demonstrated by Van Gogh as he uses complementary colours to set a mood and explain his feelings in scenes of settings and landscapes.
Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889.