Sunday, October 11, 2015

Color Charts and Schemes

Complementary Colors are any two Hues positioned exactly opposite each other on the Basic Color Wheel.
Here, as an example I’ve chosen Red and its opposite Green.We tend to think of this pairing as typically intense Christmas colors. But there’s an unlimited variety of color mixtures, tints, shades and tones that can be achieved using only these two colors plus white and black.

Is it Complimentary or Complementary ?

Many people get confused between Complementary with an ‘E’and Complimentary with an I’. The word complimentary simply means flattering of course. However a complement with an ‘E’ is a bit more complex.
These pairs on the Basic Color Wheel have a special relationship. When they are placed next to each other, they make the other appear more intense and brighter. This is a phenomenon in Color Theory called Simultaneous Contrast.
That’s because, being opposite, one color is always cool and the other always warm with the greatest contrast. Plus, taken together, the 2 colors are always a combination of all threePrimary Colors meaning one completes or ‘complements’ the other.
The fact that the two opposites ‘complete’ each other means that they will also neutralizeeach other when mixed together.

Mixing Complementary Colors

When you mix two opposites together anywhere on the Color Wheel, the result becomes increasingly neutral.
In my Complementary paint swatch sample, I’ve shown Red and Green. See how quickly the brightness of each gets dulled down. On the bottom row, I’ve added a little white to demonstrate how you can easily achieve a lovely range of neutrals without using black.
Knowing this little trick with complementary colors is really valuable when you have paint colors that are a touch too bright but you don’t want to change them too much. Adding gray (black + white) as we have with other Color Schemes can flatten your color. Instead, by simply adding a tiny dropof the Complement, you can get a more neutral version of the original.

Monochromatic Color Schemes

Monochromatic Color Scheme is created by taking any oneof the twelve Hues from the Basic Color Wheel and repeating it in various Tints, Shades and Tones.
On the Color Wheel at right, you see Orange has been selected. You might think Orange is too bright to use as the basis for any color project. Or you may think that using only one color will get really boring.
You would be surprised how many variations, both obvious and subtle, can be achieved from just one color. This monochromatic color scheme approach is actually considered verysophisticated and usually creates a calming effect.
Take a look at how many possibilities that one color can begin to give us.
In my studio, I simply took a pure Orange paint and mixed a little of the following pigments to quickly create these eight colors.
  • some white to get lightest Tints
  • tiny drop of black to get darkest Shades
  • a little gray to Tone things down
  • more Orange to increase color
There are only 8 swatches shown here, but variations can be virtually endless. As you can see, the effect can be quite interesting.
Notice how a monochromatic color scheme can have a variety of beautiful paint colors in rich deep browns, pale corals, warm taupes, and exciting jewel tones. All from one color – ORANGE 
Remember, you can do the same thing with any of the Hues on the Basic Color Wheel.


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