Color Theory: Triadic Color Combinations

A triadic color scheme is a lot easier to understand than it may sound. Just like some of the other theories we’ve previously discussed on the blog, triadic color combinations make use of three colors. This time, instead of being next to or opposite each other, triadic colors are three colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel.

Color Theory: Split Complementary #ctmh #closetomyheart #color #theory #split #complementary #scheme #design #colorwheel #exclusive #palette #diy #easy #doityourself #combination #coordination #coordinate

If you aren’t sure if the colors you are choosing to work with are equally spaced, connect the three of them with a line—simply tracing them with your finger will do. If the shape you outline is a triangle with sides of equal length, then your colors are triadic.

Triadic Color Combinations #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstargazer #stargazer #star #gazer #colortheory #color #theory #redyelloblue #red #yellow #blue #canary #cranberry #sapphire #scheme #combination #vivacious #bright #harmony #harmonious #balance #balanced

To make it even easier, there are only four triadic color combinations on your basic color wheel:

  1. Red, Yellow, Blue
  2. Red-orange, Yellow-green, Blue-violet
  3. Orange, Green, Violet
  4. Yellow-orange, Blue-green, Red-violet.

Once you’ve chosen one of these combinations, jump on the Close To My Heart color wheel and pick from the exclusive colors that fall into each category.

Color Theory: Split Complementary #ctmh #closetomyheart #color #theory #split #complementary #scheme #design #colorwheel #exclusive #palette #diy #easy #doityourself #combination #coordination #coordinate

(Download here.)

Another way to use this would be to start with a color you know you want to use, like Sapphire, and then draw a triangle to determine which other two colors to combine with it. Sapphire is in the blue zone, and we know from drawing a triangle (and from the list above) that yellow and red complete the color triad.

Triadic Color Combinations #ctmh #closetomyheart #triadic #color #combination #scheme #harmony #balance #redblueyellow #canary #cranberry #sapphire #layout #page #scrapbooking #scrapbook #boy #space #ctmhstargazer #star #gazer #stargazer #astronaut #space #colortheory

This layout makes use of the red, yellow, blue combination using Cranberry, Canary, and Sapphire. We used Sapphire heavily, as the main color, with Cranberry and Canary acting as accents.

While triadic color combinations do not achieve the same level of contrast as complementary colors, they do provide color variety that tends to look more balanced—making it a favorite among artists who love playing with color. Try out a triadic combination on your next project and let us know how it goes!


12″ x 12″ Alphabet Page
Z4157 Stargazer Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, D1757 My Acrylix® Stargazer—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5982 Canary Cardstock, X5975 Cranberry Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2833 Pebble Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z4143 Stargazer Dots, Z4145 Light Grey Ribbon, Z3630 Watercolor Pencils, Z4575 Black LePen™, Z1297 Edge Distresser, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Cricut® Artistry Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:

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Color Theory: Using Split-Complementary Colors

The first time we talked color on the blog, back in January, we reviewed complementary color schemes and how to use them. We defined complementary colors as two colors opposite the color wheel, such as Cranberry and Willow (red and green), and Goldrush and Pacifica (orange and blue).

Complementary Colors #ctmh #closetomyheart #complementary #color #colour #theory #scheme #diy #card #scrapbooking #colorfamily #colourfamily #family

Today we want to expand on this scheme. Split complementary colors are pretty much what the name implies. You take two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like red and green, and split one of them into its two adjacent colors on the wheel.

Color Theory: Split Complementary #ctmh #closetomyheart #color #theory #split #complementary #scheme #design #colorwheel #exclusive #palette #diy #easy #doityourself #combination #coordination #coordinate

Take for example red-orange and blue-green. They are opposite each other on the color wheel and therefore complementary. To add a third color using the split complementary scheme, split red-orange into two and use red and orange with the blue-green instead.

How does that translate into our exclusive colors? Take a look:

Color Theory: Split Complementary #ctmh #closetomyheart #color #theory #split #complementary #scheme #design #colorwheel #exclusive #palette #diy #easy #doityourself #combination #coordination #coordinate

This card was made using Pomegranate (red), Goldrush (orange), and Lagoon (blue-green) patterned papers and cardstock.

As you know, our exclusive color palette is made up of more hues than the 12 basic colors you see in a color wheel. You can easily add a fourth (maybe dare a fifth and sixth!) color and still be in a split complementary scheme. If you look back at the card, we also incorporated Glacier cardstock, which works well since it also fits into the blue-green family.

Color Theory: Split Complementary #ctmh #closetomyheart #color #theory #split #complementary #scheme #design #colorwheel #exclusive #palette #diy #easy #doityourself #combination #coordination #coordinate

In the page above, we used Canary (yellow). Since Canary fits into the yellow category, its complementary color would be violet. Instead of going with the complementary color, we split the complementary and went with hues that fell to either side: Pansy (blue-violet), and Bashful and Pixie (both in the red-violet). Adding different hues in the same color is an easy way to enhance an already winning color combination. Our two-toned cardstock, makes it especially easy to get more variety of the same color when you use both sides.

In case you’re wondering how to classify our exclusive colors in the range of blue-green or red-violet, use this color wheel to simplify your color selection process:

Color Theory: Split Complementary #ctmh #closetomyheart #color #theory #split #complementary #scheme #design #colorwheel #exclusive #palette #diy #easy #doityourself #combination #coordination #coordinate

Download color wheel here.

Are you enjoying learning about color? Let us know what you think and what you want to know in the comments below!


4¼” x 5½” You Make My Heart Happy Card (Horizontal)
Make It from Your Heart Vol. 1: Pattern 22
A1192 My Acrylix® Happy Heart Stamp Set, Z3351 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3352 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, Z2826 Heather Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2854 Pomegranate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

12″ x 12″ Shine Page
Make It from Your Heart Vol. 1: Pattern 18
D1757 My Acrylix® Stargazer—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7230B Chelsea Gardens Paper Packet, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, X7227B Make Waves Paper Packet, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7227C Make Waves Complements, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z4142 Make Waves Sequins & Gems, Z1297 Edge Distresser, Z4575 Black LePen™, Sewing Machine

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Color Theory: Monochromatic and Analogous Colors

Color Theory #ctmh #closetomyheart #monochromatic #analogous #color #colour #wheel #bashful #pixie #blossom #raspberry #combination #coordinating #coordinate #coordination #theory #pink #shades #variant #variation #pretty #prettyinpink #girl #girly #family #beautiful #family #home #love #butterfly #butterflies #hello #circle #gold #accent #embellishment #complement

A lot of us know, or at least think we know, what a monochromatic color scheme is. Monochromatic color designs make use of a single color that varies in lightness and saturation. This type of color “combination,” if you will, is easy to achieve with some of our favorite Close To My Heart products. Take our two-toned Bashful cardstock, for example. We have Bashful on one side and light Bashful on the other. Because they are two tones of the same color, when used together they are considered monochromatic. Second generation stamping, where you stamp an image a second time without applying more ink to get a lighter image, is another way to play with monochromatic colors in your art.

Sometimes, a piece of artwork that we may think is monochromatic is actually following an analogous scheme, which is just a fancy way of saying that the featured colors are next to each other on the color wheel. One color is typically dominant while neighboring colors are used to enhance the design. In our example layout above, we make use of both monochromatic and analogous colors.

Color Theory #ctmh #closetomyheart #monochromatic #analogous #color #colour #wheel #bashful #pixie #blossom #raspberry #combination #coordinating #coordinate #coordination #theory #pink #shades #variant #variation #pretty #prettyinpink #girl #girly #family

If we visit our CTMH color wheel, you can see that the four colors we used throughout our layout, Bashful, Pixie, Blossom, and Raspberry, are all adjacent to each other. This layout would’ve worked in much the same way with Sapphire, Pacifica, Crystal Blue, and Peacock.

The ideas that we discuss in this series of posts are what really matter—not the technical names or scientific reasons why they all work. The end goal is to know how to, time and time again, choose colors that will work well together as you create beautiful art worthy of preserving your memories.

So, here’s what you need from this post for your color scheme toolbox: when you’re choosing colors for your artwork, start at the color wheel. Pick a dominant color and then look at the colors around it. Make use of these colors with your papers, inks, Complements, and accessories and you can’t go wrong! 🙂

For more color combination ideas revisit last month’s color theory post:
Complementary Colors and How to Use Them


12″ x 12″ What I Love About My Home Layout
C1709 My Acrylix® Chelsea Gardens—Cardmaking Stamp Set, D1728 My Acrylix® What Matters Most Stamp Set, B1572 My Acrylix® Banner Love Stamp Set, A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp Set, D1733 My Acrylix® Splash of Color Stamp Set, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3351 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X5973 Blossom Cardstock, X5974 Raspberry Cardstock, Z3360 Bashful Glitter Paper, Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2819 Bashful Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2810 Blossom Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3388 Picture My Life™ Cards—The Story Begins (Baby Girl), X7227C Make Waves Complements, Z3369 Bashful Pearls, Z3381 Heart Clips, Z2066 Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z4252 Heat Tool (US/CA only)

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Color Theory: Complementary Colors and How to Use Them

Colors are important in making our artwork look good. But, how can you know if your color choices will work well together? When in doubt, you can rely on the basics of color theory to always make good color decisions.

Complementary Colors #ctmh #closetomyheart #complementary #color #colour #theory #scheme #diy #card #scrapbooking #colorfamily #colourfamily #family
This is the Close To My Heart color wheel, made up of all our exclusive colors.

(Download your printable CTMH color wheel here.)

Complementary colors are two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as Cranberry and Willow (red and green), and Goldrush and Pacifica (orange and blue). If you notice, one side of the color wheel is made up of warm colors while the other is made up of cool colors. Complementary colors, since they are across from one another, will have one of each. They create a vibrant contrast, making each other pop without being jarring to the eye.

Complementary Colors #ctmh #closetomyheart #complementary #color #colour #theory #scheme #diy #card #scrapbooking #colorfamily #colourfamily #family

When you’re creating your art, in this case a scrapbook page, avoid using the two colors equally. To keep your artwork interesting, try using one of the colors primarily as a background and the other for accents.

Complementary Colors #ctmh #closetomyheart #complementary #color #theory #diy #card #scrapbooking
You can create something beautiful using one set of complementary colors. Like in this card and the page above, simply incorporating different hues of the same color (or color family) will give your art the visual interest we all seek.

Knowing how to properly use color will only enhance your artwork. Look for a new Color Theory post every month where we will share basic color concepts and artwork inspiration to help you make flawless color decisions that will elevate your artwork.


12″ x 12″ Wonderful Page
D1757 My Acrylix® Stargazer—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, X7228B Gimme Some Sugar Paper Packet, X7230B Chelsea Gardens Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, Z3367 Vellum Paper, Z2833 Pebble Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z4143 Stargazer Dots, Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:

4¼” x 5½” The World Is Yours to Explore Card (Horizontal)
B1565 My Acrylix® A New Adventure Stamp Set, X7227B Make Waves Paper Packet, X7228B Gimme Some Sugar Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5982 Canary Cardstock, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:

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Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.

Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.

Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.

It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!

It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.

Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:

Life Milestones
Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch onto one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.

Love is You layout in album

Classic Family Memories
Have a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.

Someone You Love
Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.

Color Schemes
This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!

Random Reminiscing
Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.

Purposeful Prompts
Type a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!

It’s the Little Things
In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.

Likes and Dislikes
Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.

Favorite Activities
What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.

Travel layout in album

How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of the February deal on albums to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!

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