What is color theory

One of the most important things to know when painting or coloring is knowing how the colors intermingle with each other. Color theory is practical guidance of color mixing and how that affects the visual appeal. The terminology based on the color wheel separates it into three categories. In this post I will teach you about the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors while explaining how to use them to communicate appealing color schemes. 

Color theory can be very confusing and there are a lot of aspects that go into color and designing the effects of the piece you’re working on. First let’s explain that the primary colors are red, blue, and yellow: The secondary colors are purple, orange, and green, and the tertiary colors are the colors in between the primary and secondary colors like blue-green or red-orange. 

The next way to easily break down color is knowing which colors compliment each other on a page. When looking at a color wheel the colors that are complementary will be set up to be opposite each other. So purple and yellow look good together just like blue, red and green and red. 

The next way to color combine is split-complementary colors and you would choose a three color combo where they are still opposite on the color wheel. For example yellow,red- purple and blue-purple or red, red-orange and blue are calming color choices. 

After that there is tetradic color and this is four different colors that all line up opposite on the color wheel or rather two sets of complementary colors. Another complementary tool in colors is Analogous and this is choosing colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel like yellow, red-yellow, and green-yellow. 

Lastly in complementing colors is monochromatic and this is one color but with different shades. So this would be a gradient of one color.

When choosing colors something to keep in mind is what feeling you want the viewer to feel when looking at your art. Are you trying to sell something? Or convey a feeling of euphoria? Maybe fear? Whatever message you are trying to tell,picking colors that correspond with the desired effect is crucial.

Using darker colors like black, brown and grey will give a moodier feel to the piece whereas a piece with brighter colors like yellow, orange and blue would suggest a happier vibe. Also when you want something to look bolder you would use the primary or secondary colors but if you desire something more relaxed and toned down you would use tertiary colors.

To end it here this is all you need to know in order to make good color choices in your art. I recommend always having a color wheel reference when creating something with color so you can see which colors look well together. There are many things that were not talked about here like tint shade and tone but those are all extras to color. When using color and painting it is best to keep it simple by knowing good color combos!

I hope in this post you learned to harmonize your colors in a quick and simple way and better understand how they compliment each other. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and if you learned something useful send the link to a friend! If you would like to see more content about art you can go to my main page and subscribe to my email list here.