I mention complementary colors a little now and then and explain quickly in some posts. Here is a post about some color theory, color circle & explanations. So now I thought I would "go to the bottom" with this in a detailed post about complementary colors!
I have also added some extra information on how to mix colors with tips, pictures and video. :)
- Color circle
- What are complementary colors?
- To highlight another color
- Primary colors & secondary colors
- Neutralize colors
- Conclusion on complementary colors
- How to mix colors?
The color circle shows how the colors are connected, and that green turns into blue which turns into purple may not be very interesting, but the color circle is actually a great tool! I have attached a picture of the color circle below, some call these color wheels as well. Further down there is also a color circle for basic colors / primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors.
Complementary colors are the colors opposite each other in the color circle, some even call these opposite colors or contrasting colors. You can see that, for example, the blue tones are opposite the yellow, orange tones. Thus, blue is the complementary color to yellow / orange. Green is a complementary color to purple / purple-pink, but a green tone in the blue direction is also a complementary color to red.
Here you see a picture of the complementary colors blue and orange.
To highlight another color is done by placing two complementary colors next to each other.
Examples for highlighting colors using complementary colors:
Blue eyes highlighted by yellow , orange , gold , and warm brown shades .
Green eyes highlighted by lila / lilarosa .
Brown eyes highlighted by cool shades such as blue, silver and gray . This is because brown is not included in the color circle but is a mixture of several colors, but since the opposite is highlighted and brown is a warm color, it is highlighted by cold colors.
Here you see a make-up where I highlight my blue eyes with just yellow, orange and warm brown shade.
- What are primary colors or base colors? One primary color or primer is a color used for mixing secondary colors or otherwise forms the basis of a color system. These may differ depending on whether it is additive paint mixture or subtractive color mix.
- Additive color mixture = colors in TV and monitor. Abbreviated RGB and stands for RED, Green and Blue
- Subtrative color mix = colors for e.g. print. Abbreviated CMYK and stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and addition of Black (K = Key-color) Color mix in painting is also Subtrative color mix and the primary colors are Yellow, RED and Blue
- What are secondary colors? Secondary colors are colors that occur when primary colors or base colors are mixed. Below you see a picture of both RGB (left) and CMYK (right) and how the colors become when they are mixed with each other.
How to neutralize colors? To neutralize a color, the complementary colors are also used, but then they are applied on each other instead of next to each other and the result is then neutral.
This is because if you mix the three primary colors RED, blue and yellow so it always will be brown / neutral (the other shades in the color circle are obtained by mixing colors, but red blue and yellow can never be obtained by mixing) So if you want to neutralize one of the base colors, you have to add the other two!
Examples of how to neutralize e.g. blue circles under the eyes or a red pimple:
Hide blue circles under the eyes - neutralized by red and yellow (= orange)
Cover red pimple or reduce redness on the face - neutralized by blue and yellow (= green)
Complementary colors on each other - Neutralized.
Complementary colors beside each other - Reinforced.
To mix colors in painting, you start from the basic colors (primary colors) yellow, red & blue.
Here you see a color circle with primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors:
Primary colors can not be mixed with other colors but are the basic colors.
You can not mix yellow, red or blue from other colors because these are the basic colors that create the other colors.
Secondary colors mixed by mixing primary colors with each other.
- Yellow and red turn orange.
- Red and blue turn purple.
- Blue and yellow turn green.
Tertiary colors mixed by mixing secondary colors with each other or mixing primary colors and secondary colors.
- Yellow and orange become light orange.
- Red and orange become red-orange.
- Red and purple become red-purple.
- Blue and purple become blue-purple.
- Blue and green become blue-green.
- Yellow and green turn yellow-green.
What colors do you mix to get brown?
Depending on what brown color you are looking for, it is a little different how you mix brown color. As a basis for mixing the color brown, you can start from the colors red and green in equal parts.
What color will it be if you mix red and green? Equal parts red and green to mix brown.
To then get lighter, darker or redder brown colors, just add other colors. You can use this color generator to try mixing different colors online, click here.
The simple answer for which colors turn brown is red and green.
Then you get different shades from brown color scale so you can mix a little whatever. Here you have a film when an artist creates different shades of brown.
What colors do you mix to get blue?
Blue is a base color and can not be mixed.
What colors do you mix to get pink?
Red and white give pink, if you want a more peach pink you can mix in a little yellow. For a more purple pink, mix in a little blue.
What happens if you mix all the colors?
If you mix all the color colors together, it will be black because you have created a substance that absorbs all the colors and for us, the absence of light is seen as black.
So what colors do you mix to get black are all! :)
Color generator to display complementary colors:
Must also suggest a color generator I found, where you can easily choose colors in real time and see which are its complementary colors and so on. Super flexible and available on Paletton.com.
Hope you got wiser by my great post about complementary colors, color theory & color circle and what they do! Get in touch if you have any questions or concerns and feel free to write a comment!