Color basics – The color scheme

We learn something about colors when we are very little, in kindergarten and elementary school, but what is color? Well it is all about light and how it is reflected by everything surrounding us, objects absorb and reflect light in different combinations of wavelengths, our brains translate those combinations into color.


We see a lot of colors in our daily live and seems natural for us, we already know that they affect our emotions, when we are sad we say we are blue, and red is the color of passion, for example, but there are many studies about them and their behavior, it exists a “theory of colors” and that information, even when is largely used by artists like painters and graphic designers, it is very useful for all of us.


Why do we need to understand colors if we are not artists?

You need that information for make-up, to combinate colors in harmony in on your face, in architecture, advertising (since color can affect our mood and emotions), even in business, you need to know which color will motivate your employees, which will attract more clients, what combination of colors use in our papers, etc, you even will need that knowledge when you edit a picture or create a presentation or a document with images.


Some basic information

Let’s see, we all learned in school that there are three primary colors, and combining them we can get secondary colors, mixing secondary colors with primary ones we get tertiary colors, and so on, there also exist three properties of colors you surely has seen in images editors, tint, shade and tone, let’s take the pure color, that is the hue, the tint is the effect of adding white to the hue, the shade is obtained adding black, and tone is obtained adding grey, you can also classify colors in warm and cold, there is a color wheel that you can consult, some color wheels include tint and shade colors, an imaginary line divide the colors of the wheel into warm colors and cold ones.


Color schemes

Color schemes allow us to combinate color in an harmonic way to get the most desirable result ever, it is important to know which color complement what other color, and which of them combine between them.


Using the color wheel we draw imaginary lines connecting colors in schemes, this ones have been largely studied and have proved to be very useful, here we have the basic schemes:

– Complementary colors are any two colors opposite each other on the wheel.

-Split complementary colors use three colors. The scheme takes one color and matches it with the two colors adjacent to its complementary color.

– Analogous colors are any three colors next to each other on the wheel.

– Triadic colors are any three colors that are equally apart on the color wheel.

– Rectangle or Tetradic or double complementary colors uses four colors together, in the form of two sets of complementary colors.

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