In every good art piece there are colors or shades that help express beauty. Some novice artists however don’t understand why these colors look so good in the art piece. It’s because the artist who created the piece knows color theory. What is color theory? Color theory is matching and combining of colors to make a piece work. How do you know what colors work together? Well let’s look at a color wheel. The most important colors are the primary colors; red, yellow, and blue. With these three colors you can make every other color. This leads us to our secondary colors; orange (made by yellow and red), green (made by yellow and blue), and violet/purple (made by red and blue). These are colors made from primary colors. Lastly we have tertiary colors: yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, and red-orange. The color combination is self explanatory. Now you have a full color wheel. “What if I want my color to be darker or lighter?” A darker version of a color is called a shade. A lighter version of a color is called a tint. If you want a darker shade of a color, add black. If you want a lighter tint of a color, add white. For example, If you want a blood red you would add a little black to make it darker. If you want pink, you add a little white to your red. Always use small amounts of black or white since they are such strong shades. You can always add more later but you can’t take it out. (Side note: Black and white are a shade or tint not colors. Brown is argued over since it is a combination of all colors some believe it’s a color but others call it a shade. Just so you know, for future posts, I refer to it as a shade.)

“Ok but how do i know what colors look good together?” There are a few ways to match color. A common color combination would be complimentary. Complimentary colors are across the color wheel from each other, such as red and green, or purple and yellow.  Another color combo would be analogous, colors that are next to each other on the color wheel such as red, orange, yellow or purple, blue, green. The last is split complementary, use picture above for reference.

Thanks for reading,

-Kabuki

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