Colour Theory is an art in and of itself – there are few things more important and subjective in art and design than the use of colour.
Monday 22 February, 2021
Colour Theory is an art in and of itself – there are few things more important and subjective in art and design than the use of colour. Using a colour wheel, which was developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, innumerable artists, designers and interiors experts have turned to colour theory to create tonal harmony in their work.
The colour wheel consists of primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary colours (green, purple, orange), plus tertiary colours, created from combining primary and secondary. It provides a logical and easy-to-use structure, perfect to create a visually pleasing arrangement. This, in turn, helps us feel at ease within our environments, ideal for interior décor decisions and, of course, selecting your next artwork!
It may seem simple, but even surrounding ourselves with a slightly different tone or hue can inspire a completely different atmosphere in our homes. Cultural differences can also compound these effects; where one hue evokes happiness and uplifts its viewer, elsewhere in the world the same colour can have negative associations.
Being experts at complementary colours, our Affordable Art Fair team has sifted through our vast array of new works on our Online Marketplace to bring you a selection, perfect for those inspired to use Colour Theory to revamp their homes. Read on for some colour-popping inspiration…
Warm colours include reds, oranges, yellows and any combination of these three colours. They’re generally energizing and portray passion, heat and vibrancy, so can be used in your décor plans to reflect happiness and enthusiasm.
RED: Reds are a powerful accent colour, typically indicating danger, anger and fire and are known to have the physical effect of raising blood pressure. Internationally, red can bring prosperity and attract good luck (China) but can also be the hue of mourning (South Africa).
ORANGE: Oranges brings vibrancy and energy to any space. Bright tones are typically associated with the fruit as well as health and vitality – representing change, movement and positivity. More muted versions are associated with the earth and autumn, but all can play a more friendly role compared to red.
YELLOW: In its positive interpretations, yellow represents hope, sunshine and a brighter tomorrow, but on its negative pole it harbour’s deceit and cowardice. In some natural settings it can signal danger, such as the yellow of a wasp. In creative settings, darker yellows can often look like gold and antiquities, creating a sense of permanence and stature in your home.
Cool colours consist of greens, blues and purples and are the more calming alternative to peppy warm colours. They represent nature, the night and provide an overall feeling of calm and relaxation. Cool colours are useful in spaces of work and professionalism so add them to your home office or a space you use for deep thought and contemplation.
GREEN: Growth, plants and new beginnings sprout from greens and give a sense of abundance and renewal. It’s also the tone used to portray jealousy or a lack of experience. However, greens perform a balancing act, ultimately create harmony and are associated with affluence.
BLUE: Depending on the tone, you’ll find peace and relaxation as well as a sense of responsibility through blues ranging from the light, bright and refreshing through to the strength and reliability of darker hues. With a wide range of associations in design, you may want to try them all out at home!
PURPLE: The colour of royalty, purples symbolise wealth and creativity and hold a sentimental flame. Dark purples are perfect to create a sense of luxury at home, while lighter purples evoke springtime and romance.
Neutral colours include black, white, gray and brown and are commonly combined with brighter accent colours to serve as the backdrop. But the sophistication and stability they possess on their own, make them the perfect addition to your space, whether it’s surrounded by colours or flying solo.
BLACK: This is the strongest of the neutral colours, showing off its power, elegance and formality. In Western countries, black is viewed as a colour of mourning but is commonly used in edgier design to represent both a conservative and modern sense of sophistication.
WHITE: Truly the colour of, or absence of, minimalism and cleanliness. Bridal gowns and healthcare uniforms promote virtue, while in Eastern countries it serves as the colour of mourning. Whites can also play off of tones like ivory and cream to evoke a sense of history and elegance and are less stark in contrast to pure white.
GRAY: Often viewed as moody and conservative, grays bring forward a feeling of professionalism, but also modernity. Light grays can sometimes take the place of white, while dark grays can replace black in many creative choices for more understated spaces.
BROWN: A very warm neutral colour, browns represent the earth and wood, with all of their dependability and reliability. Sometimes considered dull, browns are lovely to pair with white and black to create a better balance and provide feelings of warms and wholesomeness, while still feeling sharp.
We hope you’ve enjoyed accompanying us on a tour of the colour wheel, and dipping your toe into Colour Theory. To browse even more artwork and take your pick between pink and purple, brown or blue, simply follow this link and filter your search by the colour of your choice.