Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A foolproof way to create a complimentary colour scheme every time

There's nothing worse than feeling inspired to paint a card, gift or piece of furniture and then sit back and feel a pang of disappointment that somehow the colours just don't compliment each other. While some of you out there are lucky enough to be intuitive enough to select colours that work together, this is not a gift that all of us have. The great news is that there is a solution with the colour wheel. With one of these by your side, you have a foolproof way of creating your own complimentary colour schemes. 
A few weeks ago, we created our own version of the Ives colour wheel using comma strokes. Not only is this a therapeutic and fun activity as you enjoy mixing each colour and practicing the strokes, you are creating something you can refer back to, time and time again. 
The great thing about this wheel is that it makes planning your colour scheme for a project so easy. To find complimentary colours, simply look at opposite ends of the wheel. When you put two complimentary colours side by side, they intensify each other. 
You can see this each time you pair red and green, purple and yellow and orange and blue. 
Create complimentary colour schemes by choosing them from opposite ends of the Ives Colour wheel. Always create stunning projects with this practice :)
By picking two opposites you are creating and working with a complimentary colour scheme but it doesn't end there...
If you think your colours are too bright, you can tone them down by mixing the two complimentary colours together. This will mean you are neutralising the colours. 
Red/green, blue/orange and purple/yellow are complimentary colours as they sit at opposite ends of the colour wheel but by adding a touch of one colour to the other e.g a touch of red to green and a touch of green to red, you neutralise them and you give yourself a wider range of colours to play with.
For example, by adding a touch of red to bright green, you tone it down.  Similarly, adding a touch of green to your red paint gives you a darker red. As you can see, this works with all complimentary colours. 
We used a complimentary colour scheme to paint our two sets of roses - red and green. On the left, we added white to create pink roses with light green leaves.  These still work as a complimentary colour scheme because after all, pink is still from the red colour family.  On the right, we created a complimentary colour scheme using burgundy and green creating a more vibrant look.
Red and green are complimentary colours both sitting at opposite ends of the colour wheel but so are pink & light green and burgundy/dark green. Each combination gives you a different look to your project.

As well as our complimentary colour schemes, you can create a monochrome colour scheme like the one we used for our Angel gift box. Choose one colour (we used violet but you can choose any colour family - blue, red or orange etc) Add black and white to create your monochrome palette
HOMEWORK: take two complimentary colours and use them to paint a design. 
Why not go one step further and add black/white to these colours to create tones and tints and create more colour schemes.  We hope you feel inspired to play around with your own colour schemes after learning a bit more  about colour theory. 
Which colours are you itching to put together first? 
Happy Folking! x 



  1. Oh ! Thank you so much for sharing it !

    1. It's a pleasure Regina - its good to hear you've enjoyed it x


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