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Art Education

Color Harmony

Color Harmony

Color harmony is the result of grouping colors together to create a mood or theme within the work. For example, an artist may use mostly blues and purples to create a cold or calming feeling within the design; blues, purples, and greens, especially bluish greens are known as cool colors. On the other hand, reds, oranges, and yellows are known as warm colors and they may be used to create a warm or more vibrant feeling. In both examples the colors are similar to each other and next each other on the color wheel; similar colors are called analogous. Analogous colors are any three to five colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Below are samples of student works that utilize analogous colors within their design, notice how the color harmony effects the mood of the scene.

Complimentary colors contrast each other and are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Compliments are often used together to create contrast and excitement and make things stand out more. Sports teams often have uniforms that use contrasting colors to add to the thrill of the team. Below are samples of student works that utilize complimentary colors within their design, notice how the color harmony effects the mood of the scene.

Study the color harmonies depicted in the color wheels below, notice their position on the color wheel and their relationship to each other. In Adobe Illustrator, use the Color Guide window to explore the different color harmonies that can be used in a design. Notice when you click on a color in the Swatches window, the Color Guide will change to show the other colors that make up the color harmony that was selected. This can be used to create more variety in the colors rather than depending on the basic colors in the default Swatches window.

 

 

Color wheels organize the colors of the rainbow, what is known as the visual spectrum, into a circular graph. Artists use color wheels to organize colors into groups or families, these different groups are known as color harmonies, or color schemes.

Questions to Consider

Use the following web links to study the different color harmonies and work with a fellow classmate to answer the following questions.

What color harmony would you use to create a design advertising a cruise through the Gulf of Alaska?
What color harmony would you use to create a design advertising a cruise through Caribbean Sea?
What color harmony do you see in the logos and uniforms for the Los Angeles Lakers?

 

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Creating Curves with the Pen Tool

Use the following tutorial guide you in the use of the Pen Tool to create a series of 25 curvilinear shapes that are colored using an analogous color harmony. Create 3 separate projects each art piece should show curvilinear shapes created with the pen tool and depict a color harmony featured above.

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