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Color Harmonies

Updated on August 3, 2009

                      Color Harmonies

Color pertains to the quality or kind of light reflected by the surface of an object. When looking at the objects' characteristics, color has the widest appeal.

Color System

1.  Prang system —is based on Brewster-Newton theory. It deals with primary, second­ary, and tertiary colors. There are 12 basic hues in the prang color system, namely: three primaries, three secondaries and six intermediates.

2.  Munsell system — disregards primary and secondary colors. According to Munsell, it gives an excess of orange and yellow in the chart. The system establishes five prin­cipal hues: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The five intermediate hues are yel­low-red, green-yellow, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple.

Orange and violet serve as mere shades of fruits and flowers, Munsell has 10 basic hues, compared to 12 in the Prang system. Of the two systems, the latter is easier to conceptualize.

Color Classification (Prang System)

1.   Primary colors - the root of all colors.

a.   yellow               b.   blue                  c.   red

2.   Secondary colors - produced by the mixture of any two primary colors.

a.    green (yellow and blue)

b.    orange (yellow and red)

c.    violet (red and blue)

3.   Intermediate colors - produced by the mixture of a neighboring secondary color in
the color chart.

a.    yellow-green                                         d.   red-violet

b.   yellow-orange                                       e.   blue-violet

c.    red-orange                                           f.   blue-green

4.   Tertiary colors - produced by the mixture of two secondary colors.

a.    russet or reddish brown (violet and green)

b.   olive or brownish yellow (orange and green)

c.    slate or bluish gray (violet and orange)

15.  Quarternary colors - produced by the mixture of two tertiary colors.

a.    buff (russet and olive)

b.   sage (olive and slate)

c.    plum (slate and russet)

Color Harmony

Color harmony means pleasing, effective, congruent and balanced combination of two or more colors or shades. It does not imply a random mixing of colors but a purpose­ful selection of a number of colors to get the desired effect. It is usually achieved by combining related or contrasting colors.


Related Color Harmony

1.   Monochromatic harmony — is oth­erwise referred to as one-mode or one hue harmony. It combines different intensities or values - lightness and darkness or brightness and dullness - of one color only. Examples are blue, light blue, dark blue.

2.   Analogous harmony — means a combination of two or more neigh­boring colors in the color chart. An example is a yellow dress, with a yellow-green collar, and ruffles with green buttons and laces.

Contrasting Color Harmony

1.   Complementary harmony — is achieved by a combination of any opposite colors in the color wheel. Blue and violet, for instance, are complementary colors.

2.   Double complementary harmony — is the combination of two directly adjacent colors and their complements in the color chart. For example, yellow and yellow-orange when combined with violet and blue-violet may achieve harmony.

3.   Split complementary harmony — is made by combining a primary or an intermedi­ate color in the chart with colors on each side of its complement. This is a scheme of colors placed in the chart as to describe the letter Y.

4.   Triad harmony — In this combination, the three colors are placed in the chart as to mark out the three points of an equilateral triangle.

NEUTRAL-AND-A-COLOR HARMONY This is a combination of a color and black, white or gray.


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      Footprints 4 years ago

      Thank you for your inteligent answer and my project

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      saravanan 5 years ago

      thanks u

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      ashley carreon 5 years ago

      YEHEY!!! nakasagot na me sa H.W YEHEY!!! YEHEY!!!

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      honeybunch ^_^ 5 years ago

      thanks may saguut na akuh sa assignment ko....!!!


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      angela lundang 5 years ago

      tnx poh sa help =))

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      alecs cerda 5 years ago

      very interesting....:)

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      babe19 6 years ago


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      jhoven roldan 6 years ago

      haha thanks sa answer

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      Mary Grace benico 6 years ago

      wow , thank you for ur great answers

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      yham-yham 28 6 years ago

      WOW!!!!!!!!!it is so wonderful answers...............Thank you very much for these wonderful answers.It helps in my home works and my project in T.L.E .......

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      chenilyn 6 years ago

      tnx!!it helps me a lot...

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      hah a 6 years ago

      color is color

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      angelmae 6 years ago

      like it so much super wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Arthur 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for these information. It helps in homeworks of mine. :)

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      lecil 6 years ago

      thank you it can help my project in tle

    • profile image

      leniel 6 years ago

      astig yang pinost nyo

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      Paula Ubebe 6 years ago

      This really helps me a lot.

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      ccc 7 years ago


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      moral rochelle a. 8 years ago

      its beatiful but i want more option.

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      knell63 8 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      I love colour theory, being totally colourblind I tend to naturally bump the rules. It was interesting to revisit my old art school colour rule book once again. Thanks.