Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today


most popular


Session Nine

Exploring Color

Learn how to bring your artwork to life

1. You've selected a main color, now select a contrasting color. You'll be working with a contrast of complements. For example, red and green are opposite one another on the color wheel; when they work together, they both stimulate and complete one another (other basic complementary pairings are blue and orange, yellow and purple). By using these pairings, you'll likely end up with a drawing that is quite dynamic indeed!

2. In a second drawing, select a color or colors that are next to one another on the color wheel. (For red, that would be orange and/or purple.) Now you are working with a contrast of adjacents. When they form the basis of a drawing, they create a natural sense of unity and harmony. Here, you'll likely create an arrangement that is soothing and comforting.

3. In a third drawing, select a mid-tone gray to create a contrast of saturation. You'll mix the neutral gray into your main color and create a range of variations on the original color. When you mix gray into red, for example, you rob the red of its richness, fullness and purity. The more gray you add, the duller the red will become.

In the end, you'll create a broad range of subtle variations, ranging from pure to dull and everything in between. Then you'll use this palette to create a drawing or series of drawings.

These will naturally be unified (after all, they're all variations of your main color). Yet, the expressive quality can be as dynamic or as serene as you wish, depending on the range of purity you choose to work with.

As you complete the above challenges, don't forget to upload your drawings into our community. As always, for each drawing you upload, remember to leave a constructive comment about someone else's work as well. Good luck!

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits HomeServe

Members can protect their homes with comprehensive repair plans from HomeServe.

grocery coupon center member benefit aarp

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by

Member Benefits Discounts Angie's List

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.