Relationships Between Colors

When color combinations are pleasing they pass unnoticed, however when they clash they grab your attention.  Color combinations produce emotions, so putting care into the colors we select will result a layout that is truly striking.  Let’s look at some color combinations and the feelings those color combinations convey.

Using a Color Wheel to Select Color Combinations

Color combinations set the tone for your scrapbook layout, so let’s take a look at some common color combinations.

Color Combinations - Color Wheel

Monochromatic Color

Colors that are tints, tones or shades of the same hue.  Choosing this color combination is an easy scrapbook technique which produces harmonizing layouts.  And it is a very easy one when painting your own scrapbook paper, because you only need one color plus black and white.  Monochromatic layouts have a peaceful, pulled together quality.

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are two colors that are directly across from each other on a color wheel.  Orange and blue are complementary colors, because they are opposite each other on the color wheel.

Complementary colors bring out the best in each other, so if you want a color to pop put it next to its complement.  When you want a lively look on your scrapbook layout use complementary colors, because they create high contrast.  For example, placing blue on an orange background will make the blue stand out.

Split Complementary Colors

A variation of complementary colors, split complementary colors are the base color plus the two colors adjacent to its complement.  Wow is that a mouthful!  Let’s simplify this by looking at an example.  The complement of blue is orange.  Red orange and yellow orange are both adjacent to orange, so blue, red orange and yellow orange form split complementary colors.

This color pallet has the same strong visual contrast as complementary colors, but it has less tension.  Let’s look at an example, say you have a have a photo with several things going on, but you want the focus to be on a person who is wearing blue.  Selecting red orange, yellow orange, and blue (split complementary colors) scrapbook paper and embellishments will make the person wearing blue stand out in the photo.

Analogous Colors

Colors that are next to each other on a color wheel are analogous colors.  In addition to matching well, analogous colors create a serene, comfortable feeling.  They are both pleasing and harmonious to the eye, but can lack contrast.  The addition of black or white as an accent is often useful when working with analogous colors.

Triadic Colors

Three colors evenly spaced around the color wheel are triadic colors.  Primary colors are an example of triadic colors.

Triadic color combinations are quite vibrant.  Even using pale or unsaturated versions of this trio can be over powering.  To use this lively look successfully, allow one color to dominate, another as the supporting color and the third as an accent on your scrapbook layout.

Other Color Combinations

In addition to the systems discussed there are many other ways to combine color.  For example, using two of the primary colors such as red and blue, then adding white and/or black as an accent color.  What could be more classic than red, white and blue!  Another classic combination is blue, yellow and white.  Also, called French Country, this classic combination is always a great choice.

Nature also provides ample inspiration for color combinations.  From nature we see that green looks great with every color.  Now that doesn’t mean every shade of green with every color, but using green as a go to color always works.

Color Temperature

Have you ever heard a color referred to as warm or cold?  The next topic covered in our discussion of color theory is color temperature.