Yesterday's post on Terra Rosa triggered my memory. I had posted this triad chart in an earlier post on journaling superstition #4: Each Page Must Be Perfect.
The image comes later in the post so I am repeating it here so that you don't have to scroll around and look for it. I wanted to post it today so that those of you who were intrigued by yesterday's post on Terra Rosa could see immediately how it mixes up in a triad situation with additional pigments, when the goal is not simply to get rich neutrals. (I do use color sometimes!)
What is a triad? Simply put triads are formed with 3 (hence "tri) colors that are equidistant on the color wheel. The primary colors Red, Yellow, and Blue form the most familiar triad but there can be triads using secondary colors. The key things about a triadic color choice are that the three colors are not direct complements (so blending them won't yield neutrals); and they are not analogous colors (those colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel) which means the mixing yields more variety than other color schemes. Finally, when mixing with a triad you can achieve some beautiful semineutrals that are not at all muddy.
As with any color mixing scheme you will want to pick a dominant and subordinate color, but you'll also have an intermediate color. The direction you go on your triad is pretty near infinite, depending on the mood you are going for in your painting. The resultant color harmony will be totally satisfying to you.
If you are interested in learning more about triads and how to use them in your painting (or colored pencil work, or pastels…) there are several great books out on color theory. Readers of my blog know that I am partial to Stephen Quiller's books on color theory (Color Choices and Painter's Guide to Color). Nita Leland's Exploring Color is another useful book on the topic.
I love my PB60 and so it is natural for me to select it as the blue of a triad. In the above tests I pair it with Terra Rosa for my red and Indian Yellow. You will see from the quick chart I made that day in March that I could get very interesting greens, lovely peachy oranges, and interesting lavenders. Great browns are for the asking here in these colors. So pretty much anything I want to paint outside is going to be covered in a vibrant way with this lot!
If you are wondering what to do with Terra Rosa (or if you have the Daniel Smith Eco friendly Red Iron Oxide), work it in a triad and see what magic you can create.