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Color Theory


This tool has been used throughout the ages to aid artists of all mediums achieve color balance. By definition, the word “Hue” refers to a color, the word “Shade” refers to how dark or light (pastel) the color is, though these are often confused. Red, yellow and blue are referred to as the “primary" colors. Mix them together to make the “secondarycolors, orange, green and purple. Of course there are countless hues in-between like “blue-green” or “orange-yellow”.








This is the easiest color scheme. It refers to using lighter and darker shades of the same hue. This is always successful and gives a quiet, classic look.






Another easy one, an analogous color scheme requires three or four adjacent colors on the color wheel. This gives you a broader range of hues without worries about clashing.




Pick any two colors on opposite sides of the wheel. This color scheme provides an exciting high-contrast look. The one you’ve probably seen the most is turquoise with coral accent beads. It usually works best if you use more of one color than the other. Don’t forget that gold metal beads work as an orange hue.





This refers to choosing three equally spaced colors, which could form a triangle. This will create a rich pallet of colors, but can quickly be over-powering. Remember, they don’t have to be equal amounts, you can have the majority of one color with just a touch of the other two.





Split Complementary

This is between complementary and triadic and states that you use a color plus the color closely adjacent to and at the sides of the complementary color.

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