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Have you ever been frustrated with color in your painting? You just can't seem to get all the color working together nicely. Does your painting look less natural than what you are hoping for? Or sometimes color can just be overwhelming, and in my case I can get tired of doing paintings where it’s just all about the color. Sometimes I just need a break from color. When I take a break, I find that I start appreciating the other aspects of painting more. Aspects like value and form and texture and light. So how do I take a break from color? The first obvious thought is to just use black and white, which is fine, but it tends to make quite cold grays if you do it, grays which lean towards blue. What I prefer to do instead is take two complimentary colors like ultramarine blue and burnt sienna and used them more subtle grays that come from this mixture. The nice thing about this color combination is that it gives you more range in your grays. And it’s really easy to control. If you want a warmer grey, you just add more burnt sienna, and if you want a cooler gray, you just add more blue. Another nice thing about taking color out of a painting like this is that when you decide to put a little color back in, the color really starts to sing because it looks so colorful surrounded by all that grey. Now you can use any pair of complimentary colors to work with. Just take a look of your color wheel, yellow and violet, red and green, blue and orange. Just take your pick and play around with it. Note that burnt sienna is basically a very dark orange, and that is why it still works pretty well as complimentary color with ultramarine blue. So I challenge you to try this out with your next painting, even if it’s just a small one. Just have a play with it. Well that’s the painting tip for today, I hope you enjoyed it. There’s plenty more where that came from at livepaintinglessons.com. Happy painting.