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Colour planning & colour schemes

Colour planning combines different colours in a manner that will create an ambiance in a room or setting. There are three steps in creating a colour scheme:

  1. Determine how many colours are needed to create the mood you're trying to achieve in the room or setting.
  2. Select a dominant colour from which to build. Traditionally, the wall colour is the most obvious colour in the room or setting.
  3. Select the other colours in the scheme according to one of the four colour relationships listed below. These colours can be used to paint doors, trim cupboards and to highlight architectural details.
 

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Monochromatic
Colour Schemes

These colour schemes will give a harmonious, elegant, and understated feel to any room. Simply choose your dominant colour or hue and then select other colours from the same colour family or stripe chip.

Related
Colour Schemes

Selecting shades from groups of colours which lie beside one another on the colour wheel give a more calming effect than the complementary colour scheme and a richer feel than a monochromatic colour scheme. Select colours from colour families that lie directly beside one another on the colour wheel.

Complementary
Colour Schemes

Many classic or visually striking settings can be created through the use of complementary colour schemes. By selecting colours that lie directly across from one another on the colour wheel, the best of each colour is brought to life.

Split Complementary
Colour Schemes

Also known as near complements, these colour schemes are for those who demand a more adventurous colour palette. Select a dominant colour and then select colours from families to the left and right of the complementary colour. They are great for layering within a faux finish, or simply to add more colour to a room.

The colour wheel
The language of colour

To help you describe your colour directions, the characteristics of colour are listed below:

HUE
is the colour family. It is the relative position of a colour to the other colours on the wheel. Violet for example.
VALUE
is a colour's lightness or reflectivity as measured against a gray scale from white to black. The higher the Light Reflectance Value (LRV), the more reflective the colour.
CHROMA
is the vibrance, intensity or purity of a colour. As a colour moves away from gray, it becomes brighter.
TINT
is a colour that has been lightened by the addition of white colourant or use of a lighter colour formula
TONE
is the neutralization or 'graying of a colour' by the addition of colourants.
SHADE
is a colour that has been darkened by the addition of black colourant.
NEUTRAL COLOURS:
White, black, gray and colours containing a significant amount of gray.

Colour and light

The appearance of colour is reliant on light. All light sources from electric light to daylight have different spectral properties that affect the appearance of colour. Metamerism is a term used to describe the common colour phenomenon of the change in a colour's appearance when viewed under different lighting conditions. This is why it's important to view the paint samples under the lighting conditions where the paint will be applied.