colorScheme system - Complementary and Contrasting Color Schemes

Basic principles of color
Complementary and Contrasting Colors

Understanding a few simple color principles can result in successful color combinations for any project. Useful for interior design projects, decorative painting techniques, fine art painting, graphic design or illustration techniques, understanding color combinations can be easy and fun.

Using Complementary colors

Complementary colors are opposite on the color wheel. Red and green, yellow and violet, blue and orange,  are the three simple pairs of complementary colors. These colors always go well with each other, hence the term complimentary.

One sees the use of complementary color schemes in every aspect of our lives. During Christmas, red and green become inseparable, proving the simplicity and ease of complementary color schemes. The use of gold on a rich blue background was a favorite of renaissance painters. Early evening or seasonal paintings utilizing the yellow and violet color scheme was common among impressionist painters like Monet and Serrat.


When designing the color scheme for your interior, the implementation of complimentary color schemes are an easy method of creating pleasing results.
For a Mediterranean feel, the bold blue and orange combinations evoke images of the Cote de Sol, of southern Spain.
For the sumptuous feeling of Venice, Italy, Sage green and Venetian red work wonderfully.
While pale green and soft rose pink might calm the environment evoking a spring getaway lost somewhere in Japan.

Using Contrasting colors

Contrasting schemes use shades from opposite segments on the color wheel. Contrasting bold primary and secondary colors - red and green, yellow and violet, or blue and orange - will create a very dramatic look. Contrasting colors can also be created using pastel shades, also found as opposites on the color wheel.

About Color 
How we see color
3 Step colorScheme System

Create your own paints and glazes with the
Advanced color principles 
Coming Soon...
Historic color palettes

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 Book Special
North Light Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils  Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils ISBN: 1581806353

North Light Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils Mastering Color: The Essentials of Color Illustrated with Oils

In Mastering Color, you'll find an engaging and unique color workshop -- from the basics of selecting a palette to advanced instruction on capturing light and designing powerful compositions.


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