Colours with Kalyani- part 13

Colour Theory- Colour Harmonies

All through last year, we have been discussing different facets of colour. We have been through a long journey with colour. I am sure it has been a fascinating one. For me, colour plays a very important role in my life. As discussed earlier, colour is in every aspect of life.

Today I will end this journey with the subject of colour harmonies. Hope it has been interesting and informative.

It is important to be aware of colour combinations. They are called colour harmonies, colour schemes or colourways in colour theory.
Monochromatic Harmony: 

Monochromatic harmony means harmony based on one hue. This singu­lar hue may be varied in value and/or inten­sity. A monochromatic scheme has the most unity of all other colour harmonies

colour theory

Analogous harmony:

Analogous harmony refers to a colour combination using two or three hues that lie side by side on the colour wheel. When all analogous colours are equal in value and intensity, the result is a highly unified harmony


colour theory

Complementary harmony:

Complementary harmony refers to a harmony using two hues that lie directly opposite one another on the colour wheel. Here we see our traditional Christmas colouration of red and green. Especially apparent here is when the complements are paired at their full intensity, they tend to be disturbing. If one or both are shaded, tinted or greyed the combination is far more restful to the general eye. For ex­ample: the red and green combination is very effective at full intensity but can be softened and more subtle in pink and pastel green. An entirely new feeling is derived by this change even when using the same hues.


colour theory

Split complementary harmony:

Split complementary harmony is a three-colour combination utilizing a hue, its complement and neighbour, or a hue and the two neigh­bors of its complement. For example, green, red/purple, red/orange. Again these three hues can be darkened or lightened or greyed and still be considered a split complement. The introduction of a neutral to this combina­tion will tone down a busy and intense pattern.


colour theory

Achromatic harmony:

Achromatic harmony uses only neutrals such as a combination of black and white. This harmony may appear to be monochromatic, especially when using off-white or grey. Identification is simple if one remembers achromatic means having no intensity or colour. Therefore, any tone of white to black is achromatic. A decor in all grey is both monochromatic and achromatic


colour theory


This sums up all the features of colour theory. 
One hopes with all the aspects of colour in our life one begins to see and observe life around us more profoundly.



Kalyani Pramod is a Designer, Artist, Fiber artist, Design teacher, Mentor and also a Director in Shuttles & Needles


Earlier episodes of 'Colours with Kalyani':

Part 12: Definition of Colour spectrum- part 2

Part 11: Definition of Colour spectrum - part 1

Part 10: Colour theory introduction

Part 9: Colours of life

Part 8: Coral reefs and colours

Part 7: Colour changing animals

Part 6: How culture, symbolism and emotion plays an important part in colour psychology.

Part 5: Dyeing with Natural dyes: part 2

Part 4: Dyeing with Natural dyes: part 1

Part 3: Colours in Poetry & Literature

Part 2: Colours & birds

Part 1: Colours in nature

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