Thursday, March 20, 2014

More (Ad)Ventures Round the Color Wheel: Split Complements

Honestly I think one of my favorite things to do on this planet is play with colors. It's fun and a great stress reliever. And the results can be applied to so many aspects of a designing life....be it a quilt, a crocheted scarf, curtains, a hand made dress...or your living room. Color is really crucial for me. There is not one room in my house that has white walls! I used to have all white walls and then slowly the color took over. I could never go back to white now.

Over the last couple of months, I've accumulated a pile of fat quarters of all different hues. Now comes the fun part of pairing them up into what I hope are pleasing combinations! When playing with fabric, I like to try interesting combinations that are lively. Analagous colors are always safe and predictable. For something with a slight edge, try a complementary blend or a split complement.

To make a split complement, take a couple of analogous colors and combine them with a color directly opposite on the color wheel.  It's especially nice I think if you can mix up the saturation levels too. Here I have combined three analogous hues, clockwise from bottom left:  aqua blue, spring green and aqua blue. I've added a blue red maraschino cherry as the complement. The cherry is a darker saturation than the analogous hues.

Jura Split Complement


Here's another split complement:




With this combination, I again kept the saturation level lower for the analogous colors and increased the saturation for the complementary color - violet. 

Another pleasing effect can be achieved by dialing down the saturation on the complementary hue.  Here's an example:


In this palette, orange yellow and orange red are deeply saturated, while their complement, a cerulean blue, is much less saturated. If all three were the same saturation level, I don't think it would be nearly as effective a color combination. Wouldn't these three colors look great in a quilt, or a printed fabric -- or a room?

More fun stuff later! If you haven't checked out ColourLovers before, here's the link to my page:

JFA on ColourLovers  I'll be adding more palettes as our adventures continue.



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