Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Building Blocks for Finding the Perfect Color Schemes

I love, love, LOVE color and find it fascinating to learn everything I can about it.  Color Theory was definitely one of my favorite classes in college and thought I would share with you some of the basics to putting together great color schemes.  You must know that there are several variations of the color wheel out there and that they will have a different number of colors on their wheel.  We'll use color the wheel above, "The Prang Theory."

Let's start with the basics:

The Prang theory is made up of primary, secondary, and tertiary hues.

Primary Hues: Red, Yellow, Blue
Secondary Hues: Orange, Green, Violet/Purple
Tertiary Hues: Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet

 Red, Red-Orange, Orange

When selecting your color schemes for family photos you may want to go with the most basic of them all; The Analogous Scheme.  Like shown above it is suggested that you use 3-6 colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel.  In this case we have:  Red (primary color), Red-Orange (tertiary), and Orange (secondary) to create this analogous theme.

 Perhaps you like the look of contrast?  This wheel shows you how to find a color's "Direct Compliment."  It is made up of two colors directly across from one another.  Want to know which color to contrast with your blues?  Look across and their you will find orange, it's direct compliment.  You know how most redheads look great in green?  Well there's a reason for that.

Next we have the Split Compliment.  You take one color (red).  Find it's direct compliment (green).  Then look on either side of that compliment.  Thus for the wheel above the split compliment is made up of Red, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green.

Violet, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, 

 Blue-Green, Red, Orange

Now we aren't stuck only using the colors on the wheels above.  We can use different values of the same hue.  Both color strips are made up of a split compliment scheme but have different values, meaning lightness or darkness.

When you think you have your assembles or paint scheme figured out make sure and put them under the light in which either the photo will be taken or under the light the color will be under most.  Color will change according to the light.

I think overall the biggest hurdle is learning not to fear color and trying new things, Pinterest is a great source to find some of the basic color schemes.  There is so much to color, I could go on for blog post after blog post (oh wait I do that) but with the basics in hand, putting together a color scheme for family photos should go much easier.  If not, just ask someone to get a second opinion.  Usually your eyes will tell you when something is off (unless you're color blind) but that's where another set of eyes comes into play.  In the end, practice makes perfect.

How do you put colors together?

1 comment:

  1. This is such great info! I am definitely trying to get into using color and mixing colors more in our home. It can be daunting though because you want them to be "just right".