Since I posted Article 14, I have dyed my own version of the Munsell Color Wheel. My new version is much more accurate than anything that I have shown in my previous articles. I actually matched these colors with the Munsell chips in my Munsell color set. Here’s the new and improved color wheel.
Now, that’s better!
I’ve talked about Monochromatic, Complementary and Analogous color scheme. Now let’s move into some of the more interesting schemes. Today I want to look at the Split-Complementary color scheme. The Split-Complementary is basically the combination of the Analogous and Complementary schemes.
Start with an Analogous scheme like the green-blue, blue and purple-blue one above.
Then add the complement of the middle hue. Generally the analogous colors set the overall mood of the palette and the complement is used as an accent.
Here it is using the hand dyed samples.
Here is another version.
Adding a touch of the complimentary color to the analogous scheme really brings a lot of vibrancy to the palette. I think that Split-Complementary is a very powerful (and reliable) color scheme. But how does it look in “real life”? For the answer I went to my stash.
Here are 3 examples of fabrics that are printed with the Split-Complementary color scheme.
And you wondered why Kaffe Fassett fabrics make you swoon.
Aren’t all three fabulous? Without the complement any of these 3 fabrics would have made great background fabrics. With the complement, they are focus fabrics.
You know how we are often told to look at commercial fabric for ideas for color palettes. It’s great advice. The artists who design these fabrics have done all of the work for us. The key, however, is to really study the fabric and learn ALL of the colors that the fabric contains. Each color is there by intention and is integral to the success of the overall design. If you are going to pull your color scheme from a printed fabric be sure to include some of each color in your project. Also pay attention to the relative amount of each color. If you want a similar mood or effect in your project then the proportion of the colors will matter as well.
Take a look through your own stash and see if you can find some examples of Split-Complementary color palettes.