Monday, May 6, 2024

Complementary Colors - A Different Way

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I have talked about complementary colors a lot over the years - mostly because I think it's the one thing you can use to really make your coloring in any medium really pop. 

But you don't have to do direct complementaries - you can sort of come at them from an angle and it's still very effective. I made a card today to show you want I mean and how it works. 

I'm using a little mermaid image for this with two distinct parts - the mermaid and the shell. To keep it simple, I used four colors (except for the skin tones). The four colors are Cerise, Prawn, Nile Blue and Veronese Green. You can see that the green is used to shade the blue. So instead of choosing orange as a complementary to the blue, I chose a warm red. So the complementary relationship isn't a direct complementary - it's more subtle. The green that I used for shading is also almost a direct complementary to this same red though, so using it to shade the non-direct complementary increases the contrast overall. Same with the hot pink - that is nearly a direct complementary to the green as well - but when you look at this image overall, the overwhelming feeling you get is that it's a blue image, right? That's because the shading color is adjacent to blue on the color wheel.

So all that to say you don't have to always go straight across the color wheel to get a pop of contrast - you can wiggle around a bit! I used the matching dies to cut her out and put her on my fave 300 gsm kraft cardstock

I'm part of a blog hop today with this sweet little mermaid. To see more inspiration - check out the list below!

I'll be back today at noon - don't forget! Loveyameanitbye.

10% off stamps, stencils and dies at TRHD here with UNDERSTANDBLUE
20% off anything at Glassboard Studio  - UNDERSTANDBLUE.
10% off the whole store at A Colorful Life Designs - LydiaFan10
Arkon Mounts -  - 20% off sitewide with code UNDERSTANDBLUE


  1. Adorable the colors.

  2. Absolutely Beautiful! I love the color combination. Thank you for sharing the details and explaining the entire color theory. Fascinating!

  3. I LOVE this mermaid! She is precious! Great coloring!

  4. Beautiful card! I love the way you colored this pretty mermaid!

  5. Hi Lydia. There are such cute mermaids in this release. I like this one with the cute accessories. For my next project I am going to look at my color wheel a little differently and try to make my colors slightly off to the side of the complementary color. Kind of like the Split Complementary lines on my wheel (if that makes sense.) It really make a difference. I also love how these colors pop off Kraft paper.

  6. I love this card, really CAS with the addition of a gorgeous mermaid!

  7. Such a pretty mermaid design, and an awesome color combo! Love your card!
    I commented a couple of days ago but I think it must have gone into your spam folder.....


Every time you leave a comment, a new LOLcat is born. ALSO - don't panic if you don't see your comment right away - I moderate my comments to keep those spammers out, so your comment will show up in short order. Unless you're linking me to Russian brides or Nigerian princes.

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