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by Permanent Posies on May 25, 2010

Today is Creative Tip Tuesday. Since I am an oil painter, my first tip will be about opposite colors in decorating and using them to make grays.  Your tip can be about whatever you want it to be.  See Creative Tip Tuesday tab for details.

My tip today is probably information that most of you already know but I didn’t think about it myself until I started to learn the ins and outs of painting.

First, the following colors are “opposite” colors on the color chart:

Red and Green

Purple and Yellow

Blue and Orange

If you want to make a room really POP, make use of opposite colors on the color chart. For example, if you have blue walls, consider throwing in pops of orange in the throw pillows or maybe an orange vase. It will be pleasing to your eyes and it will make a dull room come alive. It is a technique that painters use in their paintings. This is also why Christmas colors feel so cozy.

I found it interesting that advertisements will utilize these color schemes to draw you.  Here are three movie posters using the opposite colors.

Pirates of the Caribbean  Unknown Gone with the Wind Print Artist Unknown Casablanca Print

Now about grays….

If you mix opposite colors on the chart, you will make a gray. So, mix red with green….gray.  Mix purple with yellow….gray.  etc.

Often when you are picking out wall color and you want a gray, it is hard to know which gray would be best. Look at the gray and see if you can tell if it leans more towards one of the above colors. I recently had to pick gray/green. I noticed that there were grays with more purple and grays with more blue and grays with more pink (reddish) and grays with more yellow and even grays with more orange. Since I needed a green tint, I could automatically eliminate those others while standing in Home Depot completely overwhelmed with the number of choices.

I painted a color study using the primary colors on the left (red, blue and yellow) and the secondary colors on the right (green, purple, orange).  As the colors moved toward each other, I added more of the opposite color.  On the row underneath each of these studies, I added white to each mix.  You can see which gray colors were produce somewhere in the middle.  By the way, I painted the color scale this morning and I wasn’t trying to have straight lines….teehee.


Look at your furnishings that will go in your room and see which gray would work best with what you have before you make your trip to the paint store. Your goal in your room is to produce a feeling of comfort and a palette that pleases YOUR eyes. That is such a subjective thing, isn’t it. God made us all completely different with completely different tastes. Isn’t He creative!

This is my tip for Creative Tip Tuesday.  Go to the tab Creative Tip Tuesday for directions.  Now it is your turn.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve May 25, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Interesting tip. I had no idea about how colors blend. Thanks

Judith May 26, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Might want to make that “Ins” and Outs if not too late to edit. :)

Permanent Posies May 26, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Ok, Judy……I knew that…haha. I edited. Thanks, teacher friend.

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