I finished up my color class at the end of December, so I think it’s high time I finished writing about color harmonies on this blog! A snowy day is the perfect opportunity! We addressed monochromatic and complimentary color harmonies in prior posts. Since I have all day with this snow coming down I might as well get through the rest today!
The Analogous Color Scheme– This is the use of 3 colors and sometimes a fourth next to each other on the 12 color wheel. I love this color scheme, I think it often has a very calming and sophisticated look.
In this example greens, blues and purples are used. You notice in this room there is a lot of white used to balance the bold colors. This color scheme works best when one color is chosen to dominate, in this example it blue. A secondary color is chosen, here it is green, to support the dominate color. Any other colors should serve as an accent.
The Split Complimentary Color Scheme– Is the use of 3 colors, 1 color plus the 2 colors on either side of it’s complimentary color.
This color scheme is not as easy to pull off. It is often bold. Again 1 color should be dominate, here it’s green , the purple-red is supporting and the red-orange is an accent. Using the 60%-30%- 10% rule here might be helpful. Also notice how many neutrals there are. With out the use of neutrals on the walls, the couch, the front of the one chair, on the pillar and statue, and on part of the floor this would be way to much. Important to note, when you have chairs that are as vibrant as these to are, make sure there is color on the opposite side of the room as well. The red-orange paint and green pillow on the chair opposite the two red-purple chairs is a great example of just enough! It is important to move the color around the room both vertically and horizontally. If you were to put a piece of paper over half the room on the horizon or vertically you would find there would be color on all sides of the room.
The Double Complimentary Color Scheme– Uses 4 colors, 2 pairs of complimentary colors.
Here a range of blues are used, it’s complimentary color, orange, is used and the second pair of complimentary colors is red and green. Notice how many neutrals are used to keep this room balanced.
The Square Color Scheme– This color scheme uses 4 colors all equally spaced from one another.
There is a lot going on in this room! It is probably a good idea to try this in an area that you want to be lively, not in say a bedroom. Of course if you decide to add more neutrals….
You could achieve a more subdued feeling.
You might even miss the yellow-orange in the statues on the side table and in the painting.
The 4 colors used are green, red, blue and orange yellow. The same color scheme used in both pictures, but very different looks. This also demonstrates how using different chroma in each color can really work. Chroma is the saturation of the color. Notice how the green is muted on the pillows in the second picture, it’s almost neutral. The red on the table however is vibrant and is balanced in the painting. The blue in the pillows is also muted, but the yellow orange color is vibrant, the gold on the chairs even read yellow orange. Woods are not always a neutral, this is important to remember. Often woods can read orange or yellow.
The Triad Color Scheme-Uses 3 colors that are equally spaced from one another on the color wheel.
Using these guides you can pick colors confidently for anything! It was so much fun to learn about in class. It’s even more fun to start practicing!