How I Pick Color Schemes | Easy Color Palates | Color Matching Made Easy

There are countless articles, classes and books about Color Theory. I’m not here to give you a deep color theory lesson. But, I think that one thing that’s easy to forget about is color theory and how colors relate to each other and bring feeling to images.

30 Days of Blogging Day 9

So, what does a color scheme do?

In a quick art lesson, you may learn about the color wheel. For the sake for this quick color chat, I’ve created a cute little color wheel to help with the visuals.

Primary: Red | Yellow | Blue – can be used to make other colors

Secondary: Orange | Green | Purple – made by mixing 2 primary colors

Terciary: Red Orange|Yellow Orange|Yellow Green|Blue Green|Blue Purple|Red Purple – made by mixing one secondary color and one of the primary colors in secondary color as described in their names

Complementary colors are located directly opposite of each other on the color wheel.

From these colors, there are many ways to have different color schemes.

Here are a few different basic scheme formations:

From right to left, top row then bottom row:

  1. Monochromatic – one color
      • can use differen values (lightness or darkeness) of that color like gradient below:

    monochromatic blue

  2. Analogous – colors touching on the color wheel
  3. Split Complementary – one color/hue and the two colors on either side of the complementary (directly opposite color on wheel)
  4. Triadic – 3 colors evenly spaced on the color wheel
  5. Triadic Rectangle – four colors that are two pairs of complementary colors not evenly spaced on wheel
  6. Square Scheme – four colors that are two pairs of complementary colors evenly spaced on wheel

There are different ways to look at color schemes when adding saturation (how much gray is in the color – aka purity of the hue) or value (how much white or black is in the color – aka lightness or darkness of the color) into the mix. But remember, we’re keeping this basic here 🙂

Great! How does that impact an image?

You may be thinking – Great! ok, so what do I do with all this information?

I’ll show you one quote using each color scheme to help you see the different ways color impacts an image.

monochromatic quote
Monochromatic Color Scheme | Blue (With Different Values Used)
analogous quote
Analogous Color Scheme | Green, Blue Green, Blue and Blue Purple
split complementary quote
Split Complementary Color Scheme | Orange & Blue Green and Blue Purple
triadic quote
Triadic Color Scheme | Orange, Green and Purple
triadic rectangle quote
Triadic Rectangle Color Scheme | Orange & Blue and Yellow & Purple
square quote
Square Color Scheme | Yellow & Purple and Blue Green & Red Orange

Super! But that’s a lot of information. What do I do with it?

All these quotes have the same words, and same general composition, but look incredibly different across the board.

From here, what I do with my color schemes is:

  • Determine the mood or message I want to convey
  • See what looks most visually pleasing
  • Don’t be afraid to try different options out to see what works best

I hope you had fun thinking about color schemes – let me know if you try any fun groupings of colors!


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