When two colors are from different segments of the color wheel they are called contrasting colors. They are also defined as colors that are opposite to each other. They are also referred to as clashing colors. For example, red is from the warm half of the color wheel and blue is from the cool half wheel. Therefore they are contrasting colors. Understanding these fundamentals is important with interior painting.
In color theory, precise definitions for contrasting and complementary colors and how they appear on the color wheel have been explained. In graphic design, colors don’t have to be direct opposites for them to be regarded as complementary or contrasting colors.
It’s more about perception and feeling. Where there are more transitional colors separating two colors the contrast is greater. For instance, orange and magenta are not as high contrast as a pair of magenta and green or magenta and yellow.
Colors can be categorized into warm and complementary colors.
Warm colors: warm colors include red, orange, yellows- advance, while cool colors include blues and variations and recede black.
Complementary colors: blue and orange, yellow and purple, green and red.
When colors are directly opposite from one another they are said to clash, however, it is not a bad thing. Most all of these clashing colors are quite pleasing.
Contrast in color
“When we survey the characteristics of color effects, we can detect seven different kinds of contrast. Each unique in character and artistic value, in visual, expressive and symbolic effect; and together they constitute the fundamental resource of color design” (Johannes Itten, 2015).
Johannes was one of the pioneers who identified and defined strategies for successful color combination and contrast. Through Johannes hard work and research, he devised seven methods for coordinating colors by using the hue’s contrasting properties.
In order to become a better graphic designer, you must learn and practice all the color contrasts. The color contrasts he researched on include: the light-dark contrast, the cold-warm contrast, the complementary contrast, the simultaneous contrast, the contrast of quantity and the pure color (hue) color contrast.
What is the value of contrast in colors?
Some of the contrasts in colors are the dark areas advance; the light areas hang back or recede. Dark areas also have a lot more weight in terms of balance. High contrast between dark and light colors is dramatic, while similar shades of gray produce a very calm and light effect. If you wish to emphasize the light element, place it upon dark. Also, if you want to emphasize a dark element, do vice-versa.
In conclusion, if you are new to contrasting colors, keep the color scheme simple, conservative, and conventional. Use calm shades of natural colors. Avoid bold primary colors or highly saturated except in areas of complete emphasis. Even then, use with maximum caution. As a beginner, choose colors to paint that reside in the same quadrant of the color wheel, in order words, select colors from an analogous palette. For best results, make sure all the rules in contrasting colors are kept.
John Blane is a commercial designer; well versed with color and design. His unique professional works can be seen globally. Contact The Jacksonville Painting Company for more color choices!
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