Thursday, March 4, 2010

Choosing Colors for your Scrapbook Layout

When designing scrapbook layouts, choosing the colors you will incorporate into the layout is very important. Remember, your pictures should always be your focus. It's also helpful understanding some basics color theory when trying to pick the right color with purpose for your scrapbook layouts. If you paid attention in art class back in school, a lot of this will sound familiar. The colors will set the mood for the layout. When you understand the basics of the color wheel, it can make choosing pleasing colors easier.

Basics is understanding Colors

Primary: Red, blue and yellow. These colors cannot be made by mixing other colors together, but they serve as the basis for all other pure colors (hues) in the color wheel.

Secondary: These colors are made by mixing primary colors: red + yellow = orange, red + blue = purple and yellow + blue = green.

Tertiary: Last, but not least, these colors are created by mixing one primary and secondary color. There are six tertiary colors: red-orange, red-violet, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green and blue-violet.
These twelve colors can be classified further into warm and cool colors based on the feelings they evoke. Reds, oranges and yellows are referred to as warm colors because they give you a sense of warmth and are used to convey strong feelings (exhilaration, fury, etc.). Blues, greens and purples are referred to as cool colors because they have a calming effect and tend to remind you of cool things (winter or a lake or ocean).

These are then broken into four types of color combinations that I would like to share today: monochromatic, analogous, complementary and triadic.

Monochromatic  is made up of one hue in several different shades or values.

Complementary is the two colors directly across the color wheel from each other are used. Some examples are red/green, blue/orange and yellow/violet. Just are the names suggests, these colors complement each other and provide a pleasing color contrast.

Analogous is when two to four colors next to each other on the color wheel are used. Some examples of this are yellow/green/blue, red/yellow/orange and orange/yellow/green. Thinking about each of these color combination, you can almost visualize the type of photos you would want with the colors.

Triadic is made up of three colors equally spaced around the color wheel (they form a triangle.) To determine the colors within a triadic color scheme, you first need to draw an equilateral triangle in the middle of the color wheel. Use the top of the triangle as the main color. The two bottom points of the triangle will be the other two colors within the scheme. If you notice that the colors are four colors from each other. This involves using colors that are more varied than the other color combination.

You're probably wondering, how is this going to help me pick colors? Together, these colors make up the basic color wheel. Some scrapbookers, often find a color wheel helpful when determining color combination for their layouts because sometimes selecting the right colors is not as simple as it seems. Your goal, when picking colors is to select at least three colors that compliment your pictures. You will use one color as the background for your scrapbook pages, and the second and third colors will be complimentary to the pictures and be used to mat your photos and other scrapbook elements.

You will not usually use equal amounts of each color in the color schemes. These are not the only possible color combinations, but they are a great start and the color wheel takes the work out of identifying colors that compliment each other.

Here are a few websites for color scheme generators, its a nifty lil tool.

 So, you still can't decide on the right colors to go with your pictures, here is a great tool to help!

You upload your picture and it gives you a choice of many colors. What if you have two pictures you want to scrap with?! Not a problem. Upload both. You can choose what is the best match for both pictures!

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