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Why are green and red Christmas decorations so vibrant? Why does looking at a lush green forest against a blue sky feel so soothing? Why might you get weird looks dressed in bright yellow and bright violet?
The answers are all within the color wheel, which was invented by Sir Isaac Newton almost 400 years ago and explains colors' relationships to each other.
Different color schemes, or combinations, make us feel different ways. These are the most well-known schemes, according to Draw Paint Academy:
These colors are opposite of each other on the color wheel, like red and green or blue and orange. Too much of both of these colors can be overwhelming, but a lot of one and just a little of the other can have a nice effect.
To see an example of a complementary color scheme, look up Vincent van Gogh's 'The Starry Night' painting online.
These colors are close to each other on the color wheel — like blue green, green, and yellow green — and tend to create a more soothing color combo.
For an example, look up impressionist paintings like Claude Monet's 'Water Lilies' paintings.
A triadic color scheme relies on three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel, like green, orange and violet.
Johannes Vermeer's 'The Milkmaid' is a good example of a triadic color scheme.
This scheme is a bit easier to balance than the complementary scheme. Instead of using one color's exact opposite on the color wheel, it uses the two colors next to the opposite. Instead of red and green, for example, a split-complementary scheme would be red, blue green and yellow green.
Look up Monet's 'Regatta At Argenteuil' online to see an example of an artist using oranges and blues and greens.