Colors Are Your Friends or let’s talk a bit of “my” Color Theory V

I have listed the links for the first four parts on this series at the end of the post.

So today as promised we are looking for the answer to this question:

Actually Pablo Picasso said: “Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”

We might not really say, why- but we can figure out which paints do sing next to each other…that is fair enough, isn’t it?

Let’s see what kind of music our friends play together – but you will need your color wheel!


Let’s start with what I call the “Lullaby of color combination”….

All the colors of a certain pure color: tints, shades and tones…with a little bit of cheating here and there ;) I do not use it too often, although I have to say I love the calming effect a monochrome layout/art journal page gives.


Singing in simple melodies, basic harmonies and consistent rhythm – just like a Folk song – are analogous colors. They are three colors next to each other on the color wheel.

For this layout I had used blue, violet and red-violet.


Let’s check out Swing, that is complex with contrasting elements,has lots of vitality,  the music instruments are cooking together. Fun. These are the colors that are sitting right across from each other on the color wheel

Here I used blue and orange mainly. But there is also for example red and green, yellow and violet and so on. The colors make each other appear brighter.


That is for me the pop bands under the color combinations ;) Pop is appealing and pleasurable to listen to, it contains contrasting elements, but in doses. You find these colors equally spaced (triangle) from each other on the color wheel.

Here I used orange, pink and green – but it could be for example also blue, yellow and red etc.

If you look at your work, what do you find you use most often as a color scheme: Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary or Triadic?

Whatever it is that you answer, just based on what we talked about today, why don’t you try to break out today and create something with a color scheme you almost never use? For me that would be probably monochromatic ;)

Next in this series I will show you some fun color combinations and where you can find inspirations for color combinations.

Have a swinging day today ;)



Comments (6)

  • Veronica


    I may not be commenting but I’m really enjoying this series about the colours. Very useful and very enjoyable to read! Thanks! Btw, looking at my projects I can see that I tend to use the analogous combinations. I’m a bit “scared” of the big contrasts in pages… I’m sure it would be my perfect challenge for a Second Floor project ;-D


  • Outi


    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on this subject! I read every word and get so many ideas. Earlier this year I tried to make friends with monochromatic and though I thought it was impossible to achieve anything in the beginning, I succeeded in having fun during the process. Now I don’t avoid monochromatic any longer:-)
    Hugs Outi


  • Lisa Flaherty


    I am LOVING this series!!! I am learning SO MUCH!! I have no idea which scheme I use most, but based on your examples I would think I gravitate toward Complimentary. I will have to flip through my art journal and scrap layouts for confirmation.


  • Bev W.


    Great series Nat!!! From looking at your art I can see I go with analogous colors..most of the time:) Thanks!


  • Sue Clarke


    mostly complementary it would seem. i almost never do monochromatic but it is striking.


  • Milagros


    is very interesting, I think more use complementary colors but sometimes use the triad, desiring to see the color combinations and inspirations. thank you very much hugs


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