Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Simple color theory or what color goes with purple?

Tina asks:
What color goes with purple? Can you recommend a good book or something? Thanks!

Color can be extremely complex and confusing at times. There are university art courses devoted to just this subject. But one of the easiest ways to figure out a simple color schemes is to use a color wheel. A color wheel that has 12 blocks of color (primary, secondary, and tertiary) is the best to get. It should also have indicators so you can figure out the following basic color schemes:

1) Monochromatic - one color (which would be several different tones of purple)
2) Analogous -colors next to each other on the color wheel (like purple and red)
3) Complimentary - colors that are opposite on the color wheel (like purple and yellow)
4) Split Complementary Color Scheme - one color and the two colors adjacent to it's complementary (yellow and red-violet and blue-violet)
5) Triad - any three colors equidistant on the color wheel (purple-green-orange)
6) Tetradic (or double complementary) - four complimentary colors that form a rectangle on the color wheel (purple-yellow & blue-orange)(purple-yellow & green-red)

That's just a start - there are great books that teach color theory specially for certain crafts. There are color books just for quilters, beaders, and who know what else. My favorite is Color Works: The Crafter's Guide by Deb Menz. She explains the theories and shows examples of each done in a variety of different mediums. She uses the same exact sample for each different color scheme so you can see how the color change affects the design. Nifty!

Hope this helps,

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