What is Split Complementary Colour Scheme

What is Split Complementary Colour Scheme

Are you looking to spice up your design with a bold but balanced color combination? Then the split complementary color scheme is the perfect option for you! So let's get started! This blog post will explore what it is and how to use it effectively for your next project.

Introduction to Split Complementary Colour Scheme




The split complementary color scheme is a variation of the complementary color scheme. In addition to the base color, it uses the two colors adjacent to its complement. This creates a vibrant look mainly when used at full saturation. Split complementary colors offer high contrast without the muscular tension of complementary colors, making it a good choice for beginning designers who want to work with contrasting and vibrant palettes.

To create a split-complementary color scheme, start by finding the base color and its complement on the wheel. You then select the two colors on either side of its complement, drawing an imaginary triangle around all three colors. This will give you a palette of three colors that can be used in various combinations to create interest and contrast with bold, vibrant hues.


Split Complementary Colour Scheme, also known as triadic or three-way color matching, is a type of color combination that relies on contrasting and complementary colors. This scheme uses three equally spaced hues on the 12-part color wheel to create bright and often vibrant pictures.


At its most basic, the Split Complementary Colour Scheme relies on three colors: a main hue and two other secondary shades. The base hue is determined by picking one of the twelve vision hues (red, yellow, blue) from the traditional paint wheel. To complete the Split Complementary arrangement, one needs to select the two additional tertiary hues, which are directly opposite in temperature but sit opposite each other in terms of positioning.


Split Complementary Colour Schemes can give your artwork a unique look with elements of vibrancy while reducing chromatic instability generally associated with six-color schemes. This mixing process can also be used in fashion design to help construct outfits around specific colors or seasonally appropriate palettes. Ultimately these same techniques can be incorporated into many aspects of life, such as decorating spaces or arranging floral displays.


By understanding the basics of Split Complementary Colour Schemes, we can gain insight into how varying tonal ranges interact together with each other to create a harmonious environment full of vibrancy and seasonal accents that animate any space!



Identifying the Components of a Split Complementary Colour Scheme




Split complementary color schemes are a variation of the classic complementary color scheme, employing three distinct hues. The traditional color scheme pairs two colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel. In contrast, the split complementary color scheme involves one primary base hue and two adjacent hues to create cohesion without the intensity of its direct opposite.


To construct a split complementary color scheme, you'll first need to identify three distinct tones:

  • To determine your base hue, locate it on the outer edge of a standard twelve-part color wheel. For example, if you choose blue as your primary hue, orange is off-limits for this arrangement since it will be too similar in overall appearance and will not provide sufficient contrast. Instead, focus on selecting two adjacent hues that reflect their opposite - yellow and red-orange (forming an open triangle).
  • Once identified, the primary color in the scheme should be used more frequently than either of the supporting hues for optimal results.
  • Split complementary schemes can be toned down or brightened up through tints or shades for added variety. Adding white and black to any hue or tint within your palette (such as your main background's neutral tone) can easily add depth to your design.
  • The unique balance of a split complementary color scheme allows designers to create dynamic designs with minimal effort while avoiding bland visuals associated with single or mismatched colors often seen in amateur works.


Advantages of Using a Split Complementary Colour Scheme




split complementary color scheme is an effective way to harmonize hues. In this design strategy, three shades are chosen - one color and two of its opposite neighbors on the color wheel. This is a good approach as it combines the harmony of analogous colors with contrasting complimentary colors. Each hue in a split complementary color scheme provides vibrant contrast and enhances the overall effect of a project.


The main advantages of using a split complementary color scheme include the following:

  • More vibrant look as all three hues will strongly contrast with each other.
  • It provides insight into multiple shades for each hue that can be used to enhance color values and textural tones.
  • Easy to create palettes that bring together multiple tones and shades
  • Incorporates both warm and cool holds together in one design


Splitting a complementary color pair into three variations can take advantage of producing an aesthetically pleasing result while avoiding flat sections in an artwork or design project. This method allows designers to create eye-catching compositions that stand out from traditional analogous or monochrome designs.



Examples of Split Complementary Colour Schemes




Split Complementary Colour Scheme is a variation of the complementary color scheme. In this scheme, you choose a base color and then select two colors adjacent to the base color's complementary hue. This results in three, usually split, complementary colors that provide solid visual contrast for each other and can be used as a compelling backdrop for other design elements.

Examples of Split Complementary Colour Schemes:

  • Red, blue-green, and yellow-green
  • Orange, purple, and blue
  • Violet, yellow-orange, and yellow
  • Yellow, red-violet, and blue-violet


Tips for Creating a Split Complementary Colour Scheme




Split-complementary color schemes are a deviation of complementary schemes, which are created by taking two hues opposite to each other on the color wheel and mixing them together to create a vibrant, attention-grabbing combination.

Split Complementary contrasts three hues: one primary color (a shade near the wheel's center) plus two adjacent tertiary colors (tints within 30° of the primary hue on either side). This scheme is often used when people want to use the bold tones of a complementary system but need something a little more subtle or easier to work with.

When creating a Split Complementary color scheme, consider the following tips:

  • Choose your primary color as the base of your project, then select its two adjacent tertiary hues.
  • Spread bold and bright colors evenly within this scheme to not overpower any single area or color.
  • For larger rooms with more than one highlight color, try using different combinations of this triadic harmony so that some areas will pop up differently.
  • Consider varying your saturation levels between lighting conditions and surfaces to achieve different moods while maintaining consistency throughout your design.
  • Balance cool and warm colors appropriately – generally, cool colors should be dominant over warmer ones.
  • Be sure that you have enough mid-tones or shades available for transitional spaces and to break up transitions from warm to cool or vice versa.


Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Split Complementary Colour Schemes




When using split complementary color schemes, it is essential to remember that it is not a simple combination of colors. It requires some knowledge and understanding of the meanings and symbolism associated with colors. To help avoid common mistakes when using split complementary color schemes, here are a few notable tips:

  • Understand the meaning of each color before pairing them in your split complementary color scheme. For example, red is often seen as an excited and passionate color, while blue can symbolize calmness and tranquillity. If these two colors are combined, they can create a harmonious balance or, conversely, develop a feeling of conflict if they are too different in emotional quality.
  • Consider how bright or dull each hue should be so that their combination will have an aesthetically pleasing effect. Too much contrast can ruin the identity of each dye and make them look like adversaries instead of partners in harmony. As such, consider making one shade brighter than the other or keeping both hues at similar levels so their relationship will look comfortable to the eye instead of jarring.
  • Consider which hues will most effectively command attention when working together in your split complementary color scheme. Depending on the intensity within the pair, different shades and tones may affect sight more dominantly than others. This guide is handy if you want to capture attention with an intentionally bold signal.

By keeping these tips in mind when working with split complementary color schemes, you'll most easily be able to create beautiful visuals with two distinct yet harmonious colors elegantly paired together into one unified gem!





In conclusion, a split complementary color scheme combines a primary color and the two colors on either side of its complement. This creates an exciting and harmonious mix of colors, making it an excellent choice for any design element.

Understanding the basics of color theory allows you to create practical and visually appealing designs with this color combination. Experimenting with different combinations is a great way to practice your creativity, so keep exploring various color schemes for your projects!

Harvey Wood

The fight began much sooner than she anticipated after catching and returning the flamingo.