The Ultimate Colour Combinations Cheat Sheet
Finding a correct colour combination is one of the most important steps in designing a stylish and holistic look. This is why I'm offering you this cheat sheet, so you’ll always hit the bullseye when choosing colours for your artwork.
Scheme № 1: A complementary combination
Complementary (also known as supplementary or contrasting) colours are colours that sit opposite of each other on the colour wheel. The combination of such colours creates a vivid and energizing effect, especially at maximum saturation.
Scheme № 2: The triad — a combination of three colours
A Triad is a combination of 3 colours that are equidistant from each other on the colour wheel. It produces a high contrast effect while preserving ’harmony.’ Such a composition looks vibrant even when you use pale and unsaturated colours.
Scheme № 3: An analogous combination
This is a combination of 2 to 5 (ideally 2 to 3) colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. It creates a calming, likeable impression. Here’s an example of combining analogous muted colors: yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green.
Scheme № 4: The split complementary combination
A variation on the complementary colour combination. In this case, you take one primary colour and two complementary ones (the colours that lie on both sides of the primary colour’s antipode on the colour wheel). The effect created by such a scheme is just as contrasting as the one before but slightly less intense. If you feel unconfident about using the complementary scheme, use the split complementary instead.
Scheme № 5: The tetrad — a combination of four colours
This is a scheme that includes one primary and two complementary colours, plus an additional colour that highlights the accents. An example: blue-green, blue-violet, orange-red, orange-yellow.
Scheme № 6: The square
A combination of 4 colours that are equidistant from each other on the colour wheel. In this case, the colours differ from each other in tone, but are also complementary. This creates a dynamic, vivid, and playful effect. An example: violet, orange-red, yellow, blue-green.
Example Combinations of individual colours
White: combines with everything, especially blue, red and black.
Beige: combines with blue, brown, emerald, black, red, white.
Gray: combines with fuchsia, red, violet, pink, blue.
Pink: combines with brown, white, mint green, olive, gray, turquoise, light blue.
Fuchsia (dark pink): combines with gray, yellow-brown, lime, mint green, brown.
Red: combines with yellow, white, fulvous, green, blue, black.
Tomato-red: combines with cyan, mint green, sand, creamy-white, gray.
Cherry-red: combines with azure, gray, light-orange, sandy, pale-yellow, beige.
Raspberry-red: combines with white, black, damask rose.
Brown: combines with bright-cyan, cream, pink, fawn, green, beige.
Light-brown: combines with pale-yellow, cream-white, blue, green, purple, red.
Dark-brown: combines with lime-yellow, cyan, mint green, purple-pink, lime.
Reddish-brown: combines with pink, dark-brown, blue, green, purple.
Orange: combines with cyan, blue, lilac, violet, white, black.
Light-orange: combines with gray, brown, olive.
Dark-orange: combines with pale-yellow, olive, brown, cherry.
Yellow: combines with blue, lilac, light-cyan, violet, gray, black.
Lemon-yellow: combines with cherry-red, brown, blue, gray.
Pale-yellow: combines with fuchsia, gray, brown, shades of red, yellowish brown, blue, purple.
Golden yellow: combines with gray, brown, azure, red, black.
Olive: combines with orange, light-brown, brown.
Green: combines with golden-brown, orange, salad green, yellow, brown, gray, cream, black, creamy-white.
Salad green: combines with brown, yellowish-brown, fawn, gray, dark-blue, red, gray.
Turquoise: combines with fuchsia, cherry-red, yellow, brown, cream, dark-violet.
Electric colors: combines with golden-yellow, brown, light brown, gray, or silver.
Cyan: combines with red, gray, brown, orange, pink, white, yellow.
Dark-blue: combines with light-lilac, cyan, yellowish-green, brown, gray, pale-yellow, orange, green, red, white.
Lilac: combines with orange, pink, dark-violet, olive, gray, yellow, white.
Dark-violet: combines with golden-brown, pale-yellow, gray, turquoise, mint green, light-orange.
Black is a universal colour — it looks elegant in any combination, especially with orange, pink, salad green, white, red, mauvish, or yellow.
I hope this information will be of some use for you all, as always, if you have any questions, please ask,