Inspirationail Colour School – Colour Combinations

By Inspirationail

Inspirationail's Colour SchoolIt’s not always easy to decide which colours to combine on your nail, wear together or even put in the same room. Our whole life revolves around colour to some degree, so it’s important to understand the colour basics and to be able to visualize the colour wheel. There are a few tricks you can employ to help you stay on the up side of shades.

Colour Harmony

With a variety of techniques to determine colour matches it’s hard to know which one to use. Here we will outline some of the basic colour schemes and how to achieve them. If it helps to have visual reference beyond our examples you can find a a blank colourwheel to download here. We have tried to keep it as simple as possible and have limited it to 2 and 3 colour schemes, the rabbit hole goes much deeper than this.

In the interest of our own attention span, we’ll only tell you about the most important ones.

Complimentary Colours

Complimentary colours are opposite to each other on the colour wheel – like red & green, blue & orange, or purple & yellow.

Complimentary Colours

These colours offer vibrant high contrast to one another and are great for drawing the eye or adding emphasis. However they should be used with caution and only in small doses otherwise they run the risk of being too jarring together.

Analogous Colours

Analogous colours are next to each other on the colour wheel – like yellow, green & blue, red, orange and yellow or blue, purple & violet.

Analogous Colours

These colours offer lower contrast, often have matching tones and are good for backgrounds and pulling ensembles together. Although pleasing to the eye, be sure that your analogous combination has a little contrast or it runs the risk of becoming boring.

Triad Colours

Triad colours are 3 colours equally spaced along the colour wheel – like purple, yellowish orange & green or red, yellow & blue.

Triad Colours

Like complimentary colours, triads tend to be bold combinations with high contrast and are good for emphasis. Similarly, they must be used with caution and in smaller doses or they can be too garish.

Split-Complimentary Colours

Split-complimentary colours are another variation on the complimentary colour scheme. One colour is the base point and the second & third colours sit adjacent to the compliment of the base colour. For example if our base colour is greenish-blue than it’s split-complimentary colours are red and orange (shown in diagram).

Split-Complimentary Colours

Confusing yes, but see the wheel and example to get the idea. This provides similar high contrast without the extreme jarring of complimentary shades. This is a good way to get ideas when you want to add new colours.

And That Concludes Today’s Lesson

If you haven’t already be sure to check out our lessons on the basics, warm & cool hues and tints, shades & tones. Plus stay tuned for next week when we take a closer look at specific colours and what varnishes to wear with them.

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