Welcome! This article is a part of Crafted Colour – Practical Colour Theory for Craft series, which is aimed at helping you develop your colour confidence and craft with colour. Today you will learn about complementary colours.
So by now you should be familiar with the parts of a Colour Wheel. Now I’m going to show you some…not rules but I’ll call them guides to help you create a Colour Scheme.
Colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel are known as Complementary Colours. For example Red and green, violet (or purple if you prefer) and yellow, blue-green and red-orange.
Complementary colours are considered high contrast, creating visual tension. They must be used carefully, especially as pure colours. Use complimentary colours when you want something to pop! You’ll find a lot of Complementary Colours in product packaging on the supermarket shelves.
Split-complementary colours are considered gentler versions of complementary colours but still retain their “pop” factor. In addition to the main colour it uses two colours immediately adjacent to its direct complementary colour. For example red and green are complementary colours, green with red-orange and red-purple are split-complementary colours.
A split-complementary colour scheme is considered the easiest and most effective of all the combinations. This colour scheme, teamed with a neutral colour, or a tint of the main colour, is my go-to choice for most of my craft projects.
Next up we’re looking at Analogous and Monochromatic colours.