03. Analogous Color Harmony


Thank you all for completing your first assignment. Now we will move on toward thinking about how colors interact with each other. Color is widely considered the most subjective of the art elements, so understanding color relationships is paramount.

Through this assignment you’ll learn:

  1. What the term “analogous” means.
  2. How to execute an analogous color harmony.


Analogous colors are colors that have an inherent familial relationship. What that means is they are next to each other on color wheel and some are made by combing each of them together. For example, green is made by mixing blue and yellow. Therefore blue, green, and yellow color compositions will have an analogous relationship. The same is true for orange, red, and yellow. Below is a graphic example of an analogous section of the color wheel:

  1. On your 18″ x 24″ paper, please create a painting of a predominantly analogous color harmony. By predominantly, I mean that the painting can include other colors, but the overall color impression of the piece should be that of analogous colors. The edges of your paper, as with all of our exercises, should be taped off and have clean 1″ borders. Your artwork should take up as much of the picture plan as possible.Here are some student examples for inspiration:

    And here are a two famous art historical examples of analogous color harmonies in action:

    “Irises” by Vincent Van Gogh

    “Waterlilies” by Claude Monet

  2. Please post a photo your results in the comments section of the corresponding post, along with your thoughts on how the exercise went. (What went well? What did you struggle with? If you couldn’t mix a color and had to use one straight out of the tube, why do you think that was? Etc.)


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