Colour Relationships – Part 1

In part one of this exercise I was to show colour harmonies on a basic scale by producing photographs that showed the primary and secondary colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. The photographs would also need to represent the proportions that these colours need to sit harmoniously next to each other. The colour wheel below can be used as a reference point for the opposing but complimentary colours.

With red and green, the brightness is the same, but orange is approximately twice as bright as blue, and yellow about three times as bright as violet.

As a result, the ideal proportions for how much each colour occupies in the frame would be:

  • Red: green 1:1
  • Orange: blue 1:2
  • Yellow: violet 1:3

Below are my resulting photographs and a brief summing up of my thoughts about them.

Red and Green 1:1

Red and Green 1:1

The first thing I noticed about red was its abundance in everyday colouring both natural and artificial. Finding it next to green (or specifically the ‘right’ green) was not so easy, although it did become easier the longer I looked. As the red is so vibrant a colour I found I need to shoot it behind the green to keep it looking in balance. Even so, the coolness of the green still recedes somewhat. As with the previous project, the green is not a solid, even green due to reflection and imperfection in the material, but it still gives the impression of solid green that stands well against the red wall.

Orange and Blue 1:2

Orange and Blue 1:2

This was a slightly harder colour relationship to spot. It is certainly a more dynamic relationship than red and green as the orange pushes blue for supremacy in the frame. Again, I don’t have solid colours here but the eye sees the colour before it sees the detail of the brush.

Yellow and Violet 1:3

Yellow and Violet 1:3

Much as with the previous exercise, the violet portion of this photograph was the most difficult to find. Here the relationship is at 1:3. The yellow is a very powerful colour especially when paired with what is the deepest colour on the colour wheel. I had to crop this image after taking it as I underestimated how much the yellow would dominate. With the other two I managed to get the proportions just about right in camera.


3 thoughts on “Colour Relationships – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Colour Relationships – Part 2 | BA Blog

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