This is a series of helpful hints I want to share with you that I’ve learned along the way in my art journey. For more How To’s click here.
When was the last time you were really drawn to a piece of artwork or a graphic?
Most likely the color combination they used made you feel a certain way. It’s a nifty little trick you can use to attract your audience too!
I’ve always been fascinated with color and how it can affect even the simplest of things. I’m a big fan of black clothes because it makes getting dressed so easy but when it comes to painting and social media? The more color the better.
But what if you’re a newbie and don’t know how to blend one color with the other to create the mood you’re looking for? It’s something easy to learn and it becomes second nature after a while; let’s start with the basics.
Red, blue and yellow are primary colors. All of the other colors are a combination of these three.
When you mix red and yellow, you get orange (see in the wheel below how it’s in the middle of those two colors?) Mix blue and yellow, you get green; mix red and blue, you get violet. All of these colors that are produced–Orange, green and violet–are called secondary colors because they’re made from the primary ones.
If you look at the wheel, the complimentary color is whatever is across from it. Complimentary colors go well together because they don’t share any common colors but create contrast and interest. Some people say that using complimentary colors seems to makes the image appear like it’s vibrating. #Whoa.
But something to keep in mind when you’re using complimentary colors is: don’t give them an equal 50/50 distribution because that can feel a little obnoxious to the viewer–pick one dominant color and then use the other for accent + contrast. So the breakup tends to be more like 80/20 in an image, or even 90/10. Just a touch of contrast can be very powerful.
So why does all of this matter?
When you’re creating something to convey a message to others, whether it be through your art or a social media/blog graphic, you want to take color into consideration. People inherently react emotionally to images, even if it’s just a simple color. And depending on the message you want to send, you can pick your colors accordingly to create the emotion you’re trying to convey.
Here are some common perceptions/meanings of different colors:
- Red: affection, power + sometimes fear
- Orange: comfort, warmth + motivation
- Yellow: Joy, Happiness + Confidence
- Green: Balance, Harmony + Health
- Blue: Calm, soothing + sometimes cold
- Purple: luxury, mystery + spirituality
- Pink: compassion, caring + understanding
- Brown: structure, security + protection
- Black: control, independence + sometimes evil
- White: purity, innocence + cleanliness
So say you want to make a graphic for your blog post, titled: “5 Ways To Love Your Life More”. You want to attract people that are interested in enjoying themselves + are interested in growing from your tips; these people will probably will be a little more open minded, yes? If you look at the right half of the color wheel–those are the warm colors. These colors tend to exhibit energy, passion and joy. They exude “warmth”. The left half contains the cool colors which give off the feeling of calmness and professionalism.
From this insight, you’d probably want to lean more towards using the warm tones for your graphic–maybe a peachy/orangey background as the dominant color to set the overall tone. You want to draw people in by making them feel warm + fuzzy and warm colors would do the trick.