Split Complementary Color Scheme

We continue our study of color relationships this week by looking at the split complementary color scheme.  A variation of the complementary color scheme, this arrangement consists of one color and the two colors that lie on either side of its complement.  The direct complement of blue, for example, is orange – the hue directly across from blue on the color wheel.  The split complement for blue would include yellow-orange and red-orange.

Split Complement: Blue, Yellow-Orange, and Red-Orange

The split complementary color scheme is versatile, pleasant, and easy to achieve.  It offers the same advantages of a complementary color scheme in terms of contrast and balance between warm and cool color temperatures.  Yet some consider it easier to work with since the hues are more nuanced and create less tension.

The split complement for orange would include blue-green and blue-violet.

Split Complement: Orange, Blue-Green, and Blue-Violet

The direct complement of yellow is violet, therefore its split complements are red-violet and blue-violet.

Split Complement: Yellow, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet

The split complement for violet would include yellow-green and yellow-orange.

Split Complement: Violet, Yellow-Green, Yellow-Orange

The direct complement of red is green, therefore its split complements are yellow-green and blue-green.

Split Complement: Red, Yellow-Green, and Blue-Green

The split complement for green would include red-orange and red-violet.

Split Complement: Green, Red-Orange, and Red-Violet

We have been practicing these various color relationships by making a block in each color scheme.  Using green as my base hue, my block includes the split complements of red-orange and red-violet.  While the arrangement seems to work, greater contrast in color value could have made the composition more successful.


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