Last week we started introducing you to the basics of color theory with some definitions to help you understand more in-depth principles. These definitions will help you as we introduce new lessons in the coming weeks. Today, I wanted to introduce you to some basic color schemes that might inspire a new combination within your stash. Color schemes combine colors to create an aesthetic that will more often than not look appealing together. Some color schemes are simply two colors, while some involve several colors. No matter the color scheme you choose, they’re a great starting point for trying new combinations.
A few classic color schemes are:
Analogous colors are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. Examples include: green, yellow-green, and yellow & red, red orange, and orange. These color combinations are often found in nature which has a tendency to make it more pleasing to the human eye. When utilizing an analogous color scheme, it’s a good idea to focus on one hue as the focal color.
A monochromatic color scheme incorporates different values (or tints and shades) of the same color. While lacking the diversity of multiple hues, it can still be very effective. The different values of the color are often times paired with a white or neutral color to extend the “longevity” so to speak, of the color scheme.
Opposites attract! Complementary colors are those that are opposite each other on the color wheel (e.g. blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow). They create high contrast and can be very dramatic. If you’re looking for a similar effect without all of the drama, try pairing a less saturated color (e.g. blue) with its vibrant counterpart (in this case, orange). By doing this you can tone down the intensity, while still utilizing the effect of the complementary color scheme.
Keep in mind that there is no reason why you have to follow any sort of rule. These color schemes are just a good place for you to start from. Understanding why certain colors react well with others will help you out the next time you’re looking for that one special color.
Now it’s time to create your own color scheme! Using what you already know, go ahead and start making some new combinations. For a bigger challenge, start with a color you never use or aren’t particularly fond of. Knowing how to create a harmonious match might allow you to appreciate it more.
If you’re looking for color inspiration, there’s no need to go too far. Between being inspired by things in nature, and great sources of inspiration right at your fingertips via Pinterest.com and Design-Seeds.com, you’re sure to find plenty of colors to keep you inspired and busy. If you’re looking for a place to compare/contrast fabrics, check out our design table! Swatch buddies will come in handy if you are trying to match a fabric in your stash while on the go.