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The human eye sees about

7 MILLION COLORS.

THE COLOR WHEEL Color-Wheel Spin

WARM COLORS come toward you,

COMPLEMENTARY COLORS op-

while cool colors recede. To cre-

pose each other on the wheel, and

ate depth, use warm colors in the

they’re thought to complete each

foreground, then add cool ones in

other. The Impressionists added

the background.

tiny, barely perceptible dots of a

Even in fabric, there’s a tendency to create a cool background so smaller areas of warm, bright color

color’s complement so we would perceive a hue as more vibrant. The classic strategy? Let one

will pop (like a red buoy in the

color dominate and use its op-

ocean or dandelions in a meadow).

posite as an accent. If both colors

A bright, warm color can actu-

are fully saturated, they’ll bounce—

ally cause our temperature and

especially in spots where large

blood pressure to rise and our

amounts of each, like a wall and

pulse to quicken. COOL COLORS

a floor covering, come up against

do just the opposite.

one another. Tone them down; add

As a rule, warm colors arouse

a bit of each to the other; use a lot

our energy and cool colors calm

of white, gray, or black.

us. But you also have to think about brilliance and saturation.

SPLIT COMPLEMENTS, or TRIADS, are the two colors on either

Intense cool colors (like a rich

side of a color’s complement. Us-

periwinkle blue or a bright Kelly

ing this kind of color scheme adds

green) will outshout pale warm

a little nuance and tension.

colors (like a delicate pink or soft buttercup yellow).

ANALOGOUS COLOR SCHEMES use colors that are next to each other, for example, blues, bluegreens, and greens. This is a strong way to create a warm or cool mood; the only danger is that you’ll tire of it.

54 stlmag.com/athome

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MAY JUN 2012

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BEHR PAINT

You’re Getting Warmer…

Color Feature Illustrations  

In my internship with St. Louis Magazine I created some illustrations for the folor feature in the St. Louis AT HOME Magazine.