Have you ever looked at an advertisement and noticed how it pops out at you? Or wondered why a red rose is so vibrant on a green bush?
Complimentary color schemes can explain both. You see, when colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel are put together they pop out rather effectively. That is what is called a complimentary color scheme, it's very effective in advertising, and it makes red roses appear even more vibrant against the green backdrop.
I've put together an exercise sheet for homeschooled art students to experiment with color schemes. This printable exercise sheet will teach color schemes through experimentation.
They begin by creating a simple line drawing, then roughly duplicating the drawing in the smaller boxes they test various color schemes. Then they complete their original drawing with their favorite color scheme.
The 6 basic color schemes:
Limited to one color. Black and white can be added to create tints and shades, and/or the pigment can be diluted to create different levels of intensity.
Based on three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel. Can be primary triad (red, blue and yellow), secondary triad (green, orange and purple) or one of two tertiary triads (colors made by the mixing of a primary and a secondary).
Using several colors that are close together on the color wheel. Typically 3-4 colors. One common color links all the colors in the scheme together. An example would be red, red-purple, purple, and blue-purple where red is the common color. Colors can be skipped and still be considered an analogous color scheme.
Colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel. It can be one pair of compliments or pairs of compliments. Some examples of compliments are: red and green, orange and blue and yellow orange and blue-purple.
A variation on complimentary color schemes where three hues that share a split-compliment relationship are used. This is done by choosing a color and then the two colors on either side of it's compliment. An example would be purple, yellow-green and yellow-orange.
A color scheme where the colors compete or conflict with each other to evoke feelings of disharmony. There are no strict rules, but colors that are far apart on the color wheel without being compliments will generally clash.
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“The minimum a homeschooler needs to get started painting with acrylics.”
This free eBook includes:
A shopping list for which paints to buy.
An intro to my teaching methods.
Three progressive lessons.
Three related progressive art challenges.
Directions for use with a CO-OP.