Help: Text only version  Click here for information on accessibility optionsPrintClick here to leave

After working through this session you will be able to:

Match near-complementary colour harmonies.

Match split-complementary colour harmonies.

Match contrast colour harmonies.

You may already be familiar with the colour wheel, and how it is used to show:

The sequence of colours, or hues, around the edge of the circle.

How primary, secondary and tertiary hues are arranged.

Within each hue, examples of tint (hue+white), tone(hue+grey) and shade (hue+black) from an infinite range.

Harmony refers to the overall colour scheme planned by the florist. In this session, the foliage and containers are considered neutral and, unless otherwise stated, are not part of the colour harmony.

1: Near complementary colour harmonies:

Our first harmony is called near-complementary. On a colour wheel red is combined with lime, which is next to its complement. In comparison in a complementary harmony, green would be exactly opposite red in the colour wheel.

Look at the flower arrangement in this photograph on the right Which colour harmony is it based on?

Overall it is a near-complementary colour harmony.

2: Split-complementary colour harmonies:

Our next harmony is also based on the complementary scheme, this time using three colours. An example of this is when red is combined with the two colours on either side of its complementary colour - turquoise and lime. This harmony 'splits' the complementary colour into the two hues either side of it.

Remember that a hue may be represented by tints, tones and shades. In practice, for such harmonies, a florist should choose a dominant colour, use a smaller amount of the second colour and just a touch of the third.

Using equal amounts of three colours seldom works well.

3: Contrast colour harmonies:

The two harmonies we have met so far both were variants of complementary. Our final one is different: contrast harmonies use two, unrelated colours. An example of a contrast colour harmony is two primary colours, red and yellow. Other contrast schemes would be red and blue or yellow and blue.

One way to think of a contrast harmony is to think of a triadic harmony with one colour 'missing'.

Here is a contrast flower arrangement. Remember that a hue may be represented by tints. tones and shades.

In practice contrast harmonies can be harsh if both colours are used at full strength. The arrangement becomes more pleasing if the florist combines tints of one colour with shades of another.

4: Summary:

In this session, we have covered two colour harmonies that are based on complementary harmonies and one based on a two-colour harmony.

near-complementary - combines a colour with either of its near-complements.

split-complementary - combines a colour with both of its near-complements.

contrast harmony - combines two unrelated colours.

Click to return to the first page
Click for more information
Click for help on using these materials
Click for keywords associated with these materials
Click to go back to the previous screen