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!


Recipes

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, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Jouraling Pen, Sewing Machine

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