Here are a few tips to create stunning color harmony. The key color is the most
important and predominant color in the image.
Step 1: Choose the key color with right combination of hue brightness and saturation to set the tone and mood of your image. There are no absolute rules for color selection . The perception of color is dependent on how it is used in your visual.
Step 2: Once the key color is set , pick the other colors with the help of the color wheel and distribute the colors to create tension or harmony by controlling the proportion, saturation and brightness. Remember the warm and cool grays communicate with each other and blend better within the space while the highly saturated colors fight for the space.
Color theory is not only for painters or graphic designers it is very important for photographers and retouchers. Ideally need color concepts should be used right from the pre-production stage but even if not , retouchers can complement the subjects colors by pushing the neutral greys to its complementary tints and shades for better transitions .
Get Idea About Color Scheme At a Glance
Here are some of the most important color schemes based on the traditional color wheel :
- Monochromatic colors come in shades of a single color they are created by adding white black or grey to a single hue to create multiple tints shades and tones
- Complementary colors live opposite to each other on the color wheel this color scheme can produce the maximum color contrast.
- Analogous colors light directly next to each other on the color wheel. Since the colors don’t have the contrast and tension of the complementary colors they create a calm viewing experience.
- Triadic colors uses mainly three evenly spaced color around the color wheel poducing the points of a triangle. For example red yellow and blue are triadic colors.
- Tetradic colours consists of two complementary pairs with their four colors forming a rectangle on the color wheel.
- Square color scheme has four complementary colors evenly spaced around the color wheel.
- Split complementary color scheme is made up of a key color and two colors adjacent to its adjacent to direct complementary.
As per Google recent information
Color plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Color can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. When used in the right ways, color can even save on energy consumption.
Now with the invention of color displays red , green and blue were chosen as the primary colors as they matched the three color sensitive tones in the retina of the human eye. You see paper reflects light and each ink you put on it will reduce the light that would have otherwise been reflected. In other words it subtracts one color from white and that’s why CMYK is known as a subtractive color system as it is used for printing on paper . However unlike paper that reflects light the colors that we see on a digital device are created by combining colors with a transmission of light from the backlit screen. In Photoshop if we start with darkness or black when you add a
red brush stroke and then blue on top of it and change the blend mode to “screen” . Why screen blend mode? The name says it all . It adds colors to create new colors the
way display screens do and if I create another layer and add green on it as soon as I said the blend mode to screen we get white with a red,green and blue colors mix that’s why RGB is known as the additive color system.
Take a look at this image for example you can see I have separated it into three layers: first one is red , second layer is green and then blue. So every single image in photoshop or any screen you actually use is made up of only three colors red , green and blue and if you take a look at the black and white gradient you will see that even what we’ve perceived as luminosity is actually made up of red, green and blue colors and this is completely opposite to the subtractive color mixing of CMYK to do any color correction in Photoshop you will have to memorize the RGB color wheel where red is opposite of cyan, green of magenta and yellow of blue. This is also known as the CMYK color wheel because CMYK predicts RGB by many years. But it’s one and the same thing so which color wheel should be used to create color harmonies? In my opinion there is no color wheel that can fully describe the complexities of how we perceive color from light. Remember that color wheels are merely a guideline and it’s ultimately up to you to define the implications of your color palette.
More About Colors
Now before we even get into color grading or harmonies it is very important for you
to understand and distinguish the three characteristics of color hue saturation
and brightness a hue is a color in its purest state with full hundred percent saturation hue is generally what we referred to as the name of the color so red, orange blue and green these are all hues . Also did you notice the hues are labeled by degrees? This is because they correspond to their location on the circular color wheel. When you blend the spectrum of colors into a circle you join the red ends what you get is a color wheel. Hues can produce different colors when it’s tinted , shaded or toned. Adding white to a color is known as tinting. So any color that is lighter than the original hue would be its tint. Adding black to a color is known as shading. So we can get a variety of shades of a hue when mixed with increasing amounts of black. Adding gray to a color is known as toning, this is used to desaturate a hue. Saturation or chroma is the purity or intensity of the color and desaturation means a color is close to neutral gray. You can desaturate a color by mixing it with grey or it’s complementary color from the RGB color wheel . Brightness or value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.
Don’t Get Confused
Now don’t get confused with luminosity or brightness. Luminosity is the perceived brightness of a color ranging from black to white on a gray scale. For example when you see the color yellow and blue at 100% brightness the yellow color seems brighter , this is because it appears to be closer to white, right? So if I open the color picker properties and choose the color yellow, you can see the brightness in the HSB section which stands for hue , saturation and brightness is 100 percent but the luminosity value as shown in the L or bightness of the L A B color mode is 98 and if I choose the blue color now with a hundred percent brightness the luminosity value is only 30. This is
because our eyes perceive their brightness to be different which is shown in the luminosity. Take a look at the tonal values provided below each color even though they are at 100% brightness. And in the Photoshop color picker if I select the red hue and as I move it along it’s lighter tints, see how the saturation percentage decreases while the luminosity value goes on increasing and from the hue, if I move along the shades of red see how the brightness percentage is decreasing and also bringing the luminosity value down with it. So, the luminosity is controlled by both brightness and saturation of a hue.
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