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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Popeye portrait in progress 5 - What is a complement?

I added Popeye’s neck and am working on the halter, which has some blue sections in it. The blue ribbon, halter, and blue paper make a pretty complement for Popeye’s warm brown coat.

A “complementary color”, for an artist, is the color on the opposite side of the color wheel. Blue is opposite of orange --- the "complement" of orange/rust-brown. The dictionary defines “complement” (not compliment) as “a thing that completes or brings to perfection”. Artists use a complementary color to set off it's opposite color, the way the blues in this portrait set off the beautiful rust-browns of Popeye's coat.

Colored pencil head study portrait of Standardbred horse, in progress

Popeye’s coat color is called “bay” - a brown horse with black mane and tail, and black lower legs.

Portrait of “Popeye” for Annie W.

Prismacolor pencil on “Steel blue” Canson paper


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