UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT COLOUR SCHEMES MONOCHROMATIC COLOUR

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1 UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT COLOUR SCHEMES MONOCHROMATIC COLOUR Monochromatic Colours are all the Colours (tints, tones and shades) of a single hue. Monochromatic colour schemes are derived from a single base hue, and extended using its shades, tones and tints (that is, a hue modified by the addition of black, gray (black + white) and white). A monochromatic colour scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single colour. Monochromatic colour schemes- Characteristics The energy is more subtle and peaceful, due to a lack of contrast of hue. Pros This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colours go well together, producing a soothing effect. Very easy on the eyes, especially with blue or green hues. You can use it to establish an overall mood. The monochromatic scheme is easy to manage, and always looks balanced and visually appealing. Cons May be considered boring unless there is diversity within the design This scheme lacks colour contrast. It is not as vibrant as the complementary scheme. Tips The primary colour can be integrated with neutral colours such as black, white, or gray. However, it can be difficult, when using this scheme, to highlight the most important elements. Use tints, shades, and tones of the key colour to enhance the scheme. Try the analogous scheme; it offers more nuances while retaining the simplicity and elegance of the monochromatic scheme. Example of Monochromatic Colour Schemes- Garden and Interior ANALOGOUS COLOUR SCHEMES Also known as Simple Related or Extended Colour Schemes

2 OR Simple Related: Any number of adjoining hues, (within the same Family) taken from an interval of 3 or less hues on the colour wheel, e.g. mid-orange, red-orange, scarlet. Extended-Related: Any number of adjoining hues taken from an extended interval of 4, to 4.5 hues on the colour wheel, e.g. Brilliant yellow, Yellow-orange, mid-orange, red-orange, scarlet Characteristics The analogous colour scheme uses Colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. One colour is used as a dominant colour while others are used to enrich the scheme. 2 primary colours such as Blue and Red should not appear in an extended Related Colour Scheme Pros The analogous scheme is similar to the monochromatic one, but offers more nuances and is richer. Analogous colours are less vivid, bright and saturated. They have less contrast and variational energy then complementary colours. Cons The analogous colour scheme lacks colour contrast. It is not as vibrant as the complementary scheme. Tips Avoid using too many hues in the analogous scheme, because this may ruin the harmony. Avoid combining warm and cool colours in this scheme. To add more interest the complementary colour can be used as an accent.

3 How do we use analogous colors? If in doubt about what looks good; look to nature. The colour combinations are breathtakingly beautiful and are in full harmony.. "Think of purple, blue, and, magenta colours in a twilight sky or the yellows, gold s, and oranges in an Arizona desert. A pine forest has light greens to blues and purples within its depths."

4 A good textual example is in Texturing & Painting by Owen Demers. CONTRASTING COLOUR SCHEMES There are 3 different categories of Contrasting Colours, Complementary, Split Complementary, and Triadic Schemes. These Schemes can be further extended into their relative Colour groups. COMPLEMENTARTY COLOUR SCHEMES Characteristics The best way to make a colour really stand out is to put it next to another colour that is completely different from it. The differences between the two colours will then be very noticeable and each one will appear to be emphasised. Such pairs of colours are known as complementary colours The complementary colour scheme is made of two colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. The contrast between complementary colours can be seen in nature, where many berries and fruits are red so that they stand out against the green of the foliage, attracting birds to eat and spread the seeds. Pros This scheme looks best when you put a warm colour against a cool colour, for example, red versus greenblue. The complementary colour scheme offers stronger contrast than any other colour scheme, and draws maximum attention. Cons This scheme is harder to balance than monochromatic and analogous schemes, especially when desaturated warm colours are used.

5 Tips When using the complementary scheme, it is important to choose a dominant colour and use its complementary colour for accents. Using one colour for the background and its complementary colour to highlight important elements, you will get colour dominance combined with sharp colour contrast. For best results, place cool colours against warm ones, for example, blue versus orange. If you use a warm colour (red or yellow) as an accent, you can desaturate the opposite cool colours to put more emphasis on the warm colours. Avoid using desaturated warm colours (e.g. browns or dull yellows). Try the split complementary scheme; it is similar to the complementary scheme but offers more variety. Complementary Colour in nature Purple and Yellow Contrast

6 SIMULTANEOUS CONTRAST Green and Red Contrast Describes the change in appearance of a Colour due to the influence of a contrasting colour. These colours extend from the juxtaposition of two colours that are not exactly complementary. In such cases, colours seem to repel one another and vibrate as the eye tries to bring them closer to their precise complementary colours. The use of such contrasts makes compositions livelier and more interesting. In the same way as placing adjacent tones next to each other tends to exaggerate the tonal differences between them, so placing colours adjacent to each other exaggerates their differences of colour. If two blues are almost the same, the differences between them will be exaggerated if they are placed together, whereas if they are placed some distance apart, the differences may not be noticeable. What is happening can be seen particularly well if a strong colour is placed next to a very neutral one such as a grey. Placing a strong violet next to a grey will emphasise the difference between them and make the grey appear to have a yellow tinge even though it may in reality be a neutral grey. This happens because the brain is exaggerating the difference, pushing the visual appearance of the grey towards the complimentary colour i.e. green. Conversely a bright yellow placed next to a grey, would make the grey appear to have a violet tinge. One of the problems in mixing colours is that when a colour surrounds or sits next to another colour it will influence the pureness of that colour. As the composition is built up colours that were put down previously may appear to change. The larger surrounding colour surface will influence the smaller colour surface. The contrast effect also happens with neutrals- Black, white and Grey.

7 AFTER IMAGE Performs in concurrence with Simultaneous Contrast. A Colour casts its opposite colour onto surrounding colours. QUANTITY CONTRASTS These palettes are the result of the combination of little and much, small and large. The surface devoted to each colour influences their impact on compositions. Creating balanced compositions calls for more than devoting equal space to each colour. The brightness and saturation of each hue must also be taken into account. The lighter a hue: the greater its impact: and the lower its need for space. The more saturated or bright the colour is the more powerful is its effect.

8 SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR SCHEMES Characteristics The split complementary scheme is a variation of the standard complementary scheme. It uses a colour and the two colours adjacent to its complementary. This provides high contrast without the strong tension of the complementary scheme. Pros The split complementary scheme offers more nuances than the complementary scheme while retaining strong visual contrast. Cons The split complementary scheme is harder to balance than monochromatic and analogous colour schemes. Tips Use a single warm colour against a range of cool colours to put an emphasis on the warm colour (red versus blues and blue-greens, or orange versus blues and blue-violets). Avoid using desaturated warm colours (e.g. browns or dull yellows), because this may ruin the scheme.

9 TRIADIC COLOUR SCHEMES Characteristics The triadic colour scheme uses three colours equally spaced around the colour wheel. This scheme is popular among artists because it offers strong visual contrast while retaining balance, and colour richness. The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious. Pros The triadic colour scheme offers high contrast while retaining harmony. Cons The triadic colour scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme. Tips Choose one colour to be used in larger amounts than others. If the colours look gaudy, try to subdue them

10 TETRADIC COLOUR SCHEME (Or DOUBLE COMPLEMENTARY) Characteristics The tetradic (double complementary) scheme is the richest of all the schemes because it uses four colours arranged into two complementary colour pairs. This scheme is hard to harmonize; if all four colours are used in equal amounts, the scheme may look unbalanced, so you should choose a colour to be dominant or subdue the colours. Pros The tetradic scheme offers more colour variety than any other scheme. Cons This scheme is the hardest scheme to balance. Tips If the scheme looks unbalanced, try to subdue one or more colours. Avoid using pure colours in equal amounts.

11 ACHROMATIC COLOURS An achromatic colour scheme uses black, white and shades of gray. An achromatic scheme can be used to create an elegant and sophisticated look

12 WARM AND COOL COLOURS The colour circle can be seen as being divided into a warm half (centred on the orange) and a cool half (centred on the blue). Another way of looking at hue is to see them as warm or cool colours. Warm colours: Colours ranging between yellow to red-violet on the circle i.e. yellow, orange-yellow, red and red-violet. Cold colours: Colours ranging between blue-violet and yellow-green on the chromatic circle i.e. blue-violet, blue, bluegreen, green, yellow-green. Colour circle showing warm and cool colours WARM & COOL CONTRASTS

13 Result from the juxtaposition of warm and cold colours, which make warm hues, appear warmer, and vice versa. This type of contrast helps balance colour schemes. However, interaction between colours may cause a hue such as yellow-green to appear colder if it is placed next to a warm colour, such as red, or warmer if it is placed next to a cold colour, such as blue. Or, interaction between colours may cause a hue such as red-violet to appear warmer if it is placed next to a cold colour, such as green, or colder if it is placed next to a warm colour, such as orange. If a warm and a cool colour are placed next to each other the difference between them in terms of warmth or coolness will be more apparent. Putting together areas of orange and blue will therefore result in a contrast of warm against cool as well as a contrast of complementary colours. The choice of the dominant colours in a composition will have a major effect on the way that the work looks when finished. A painting consisting predominantly of blues will have a cool, reflective or melancholic feel. On the other hand a picture consisting mainly of red, orange or yellow will tend to produce a hot, busy, or happy feel. Tip: Warm colours- is vivid and energetic, and tends to advance in space. Cool colours- gives an impression of calm, and creates a soothing impression. White, black and gray are considered to be neutral. (A) In (A) the yellow (warm) makes the greens look rather cold, whereas in (B), the blue (cold) makes them look warmer. (B)

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