general design
Apr 092 min read

The Colour Theory: Simplified!

written by

Bhoomika HS

The colour wheel consists of 3 primary colours namely red, blue, and yellow. It also contains 3 secondary colours that are- green, orange and purple/violet. And finally, it contains, the 6 tertiary colours red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-violet and red-violet.

Now, consider a circle, and construct a spectrum of colours over it (the colour wheel basically). A colour scheme is a group of colours chosen to make beautiful designs that are aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.

Source: Manicare

To get the best output for your project or to make the viewers feel comfortable, it’s best to get an understanding of the relationships that colour combinations have with one another.

Here are the 6 colour schemes used and accepted widely, especially in the field of interior design.

1. Monochromatic colour scheme

This scheme looks visually appealing and balanced. It is based on using variations in lightness and saturation of a single colour. This colour scheme would prove to be difficult while using them to highlight the most important elements.

2. Analogous colour scheme

This colour scheme functions by using colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. It is similar to a monochromatic colour scheme but looks richer and offers more distinction and gradation when used in a design.  

Source: Elle Decor

3. Complementary colour scheme

This colour scheme functions by using two colours that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel. It offers high contrast when compared to the other 5 colour schemes. This scheme is harder to balance especially when de-saturated warm colours are used.  

4. Split complementary colour scheme

This colour scheme works based on the variation of the standard complimentary colour scheme, i.e., it uses a colour and the two colours adjacent to its complementary.  

Source: DecoArt

5. Triadic colour scheme

In this colour scheme, three colours equally spaced around the colour wheel are considered. It offers strong visual contrast and colour richness while using this in space.    

Source: DecoArt

6. Tetradic (double complementary) colour scheme

This colour scheme is the richest of all the colour schemes as it uses four colours from the colour wheel that are arranged in two complimentary coloured pairs, as this shows the highest variation, it’s generally hard to harmonize and balance when used in space (but exceptions can be taken considering the amount or volume of colour used individually from the 4).

Source: DecoArt

Listed down are some areas where these colour schemes can be incorporated while designing a space:

Start scheming today! After understanding the relation and importance of colours, the colour wheel and all about the colour schemes go ahead and see how you can incorporate these in your designs and make your designs as effective as possible.

Bhoomika HS

Bhoomika HS

This article has been written by Bhoomika HS, team Kaarwan. She is on a journey to find her voice, through her writing and inner joys!