Thursday, August 20, 2015

Color Theory - Part 3 - Let's Play With Color

Last post we learned about the six basic color schemes that you’ll typically find noted on a color wheel:  Monochromatic, Analogous, Complimentary, Split Complimentary, Triadic and Tetradic (See the first post in the series HERE.)  We also talked about proportioning your color choices to enhance, not overwhelm, your layouts – Quart, Pint, and Ounce.  Today we’ll look at how to use the colors and how your choices affect your photos.

Want to see how color plays on color? How the color of your background can affect your photos and the other colors you choose. Look at these:

Play with the colors from your kits in combination with your photos.  Slide cardstock and/or patterned paper under photos to see how the various colors affect the pictures.  Do the colors enhance the photos?  Do the patterns detract from the photos?  Try selecting colors from your photos that aren’t directly related to what the subject is wearing.  Look for other colors in your photos you could use to lead your eye to the subject in the photo.  Depending on the feeling you’re attempting to achieve with your layout, your color choices can, and will, vary.  Let’s take a look at actual photos against, several different cardstock choices:

  • A Pink-on-Pink.  The matching color choice blurs the edges of the photo, pulling the color of the inner tube out, so all youre left with is the little mermaid as your focal point.
  • B Considered a neutral, black as a background color choice adds an immediate intensity and pushes the subject off the page and directly into your line of vision.
  • C White, also a neutral, as a background is softer than black, while still retaining all the brightness of the colors in the photo.  White gives a rest place for your eyes, away from some of the intensity of the colors.
  • D Green, pinks Complimentary Color, while high in contrast, doesnt compete with the photo.  Instead it helps to draw your eye to the subject, the little girl (my, now 13 year old niece), and creates a lot of energy and vibrancy.
  • E Blue, drawing off the color of the water, pulls your eye to the center of the photo, but keeps with the energy of the photo.
  • F Purple, one of pinks two Split Complementary colors, adds the energy, but reduces some of the intensity of the colors.
  • G Orange, one of the colors in pinks Triadic Color Scheme, actually softens the highly vibrant colors of the photo, while maintaining the feeling of summer.
As you look at the different color choices above, be aware of how your eyes feel as you look at them.  Is it easier to look at certain combinations?  Do you feel your eye pulled to different areas of the photo based on the different color combinations?  While none of the choices above are “bad” or “incorrect” (they are based on color scheme rules previously discussed) they will produce different feelings and different advantages over others.  It all depends on what you want from the layout and where you want the focus to be.

Still a little apprehensive?  That’s fine.  Start small by using a neutral background and then add to your pages with colorful accents following one of the color schemes in combination with the proportion method.   If you typically are drawn to lower contrast schemes, push yourself to go for high contrast once in a while, and visa-versa.  Play with neutral backgrounds and put your color schemes to work using your embellishments.   With a little experimentation, picking colors will be second nature and you’ll find you enjoy all the different aspects of what each color and its combinations will create on your layouts.

See – color is a GOOD thing!

Happy Thursday,

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