05. Analogous/Complementary Painting Challenge


Now that both of your analogous and complementary color harmony assignments are completed, this week’s assignment two fold:

  1. An art project of your choice that fits into either the complementary or analogous color harmonies, based upon what you have learned over the past two weeks.
  2. Visit a local art gallery or museum and identify a piece that is overall either analogous or complementary and share the piece with the rest of the class.

Through this assignment you’ll reinforce:

  1. What the term “analogous” means in the color and design/art world context.
  2. Also what the term “complementary” means.
  3. Continue developing your painting skills and comfort level, for those of you who are newer to the filed of painting.


This week’s assignment is primarily a recap of the last two week’s objectives to help reinforce this important core understanding of color harmonies and how artists can use them to their advantage within their artwork.

However, in tandem, I’d like each of you to start thinking – if you haven’t already – about the psychological, emotional, and political importance of color. During the last few weeks of our course we’ll be talking about this a bit more, but for now please watch this excellent video featuring Edward Saywell of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In it he discusses a few case studies intended to help the audience think of color in more complex context beyond simple human visual perception. (The video is over an hour long, so please set aside time to view it when you can focus on it solely.)

  1. On your 18″ x 24″ paper, please create a painting of a predominantly analogous or complementary color harmony. Think about which type of color harmony appeals to you most and why you would like to create a piece in that fashion.
  2. As usual, 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.)
  3.  Please visit a local art gallery or museum and share a photo of a complementary or analogous harmony piece with the class. The post can be quite short. However, please do identify the location where you saw the piece, the title, the artist’s name, and why you were drawn to it in terms of color harmony.
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