A student asked why I used violet to control the yellow. Good question, so let’s explore the possibilities of controlling yellow.
Choices: We can use Black, White, an Earth color, a Neighbor, or the Complement. There are other choices but these are the BASIC ones.
- Black – won’t work, turns yellow green
- White – works but the value is lighter so can’t be used for shadow or darker areas.
- Earth Color, darker, duller yellows, like Yellow Ochre, all the way up into the browns. Would work but tends to produce rather dull colors. Depends on what you want your end result to be.
- A neighbor on the color wheel: On both sides of yellow we have Orange and Green. The green is out as it just makes Yellow Green, changing the color family, so that leaves the Orange, which again changed the color family but might be acceptable. Dull, dark oranges would be a good second choice to control the color but is warm in temperature.
- The Complement – Violet – is both darker and cooler making it a perfect choice as is has the opposite qualities of light, warm yellow. However it must be controlled, mainly by using a very light application. You don’t want a heavy coat of purple showing rather than the end result of a controlled yellow which is slightly on the cool side.
Experiment with the methods above and don’t discount the warm greys – depending on the final result you desire. Doing is the best way to learn color control.