While many scrapbookers choose color schemes for their layouts by simply matching paper and embellishments to the colors in their photos, understanding basic color wheel concepts can help you feel more confident in your design skills.
About the Basic Color Wheel
The color wheel is a circular diagram used by painters, interior designers, and other creative professionals to select color schemes for their artistic projects. Sometimes referred to as a color circle, the color wheel arranges red, yellow, and blue primaries in a way that easily demonstrates secondary and complementary colors as well as potential color combinations.
You can download a PDF printable color wheel on the Elements of Art Web site. Post it in a prominent spot in your scrapbook craft room, so it’s visible when you’re selecting supplies for your layouts.
Although it’s intended for Web designers, the Well Styled Online Color Scheme Selector may be useful for your scrapbooking projects as well. Simply choose an initial color and see several possible design options for your layouts.
If you’re interested in a detailed explanation of color theory as it relates to teaching the color wheel, the Color Matters Web site is a wonderful resource. Topics covered include color context, color symbolism, and the use of color to convey messages in marketing and advertising.
Teaching the Color Wheel
When teaching the color wheel, most instructors will focus on the following types of color schemes:
When mixing colors on your layout, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the appropriate percentage of each color. Generally, the “gallon, quart, ounce” rule is a good way to ensure your scrapbook layout is visually pleasing. This rule simply states that you should include roughly 50% of one dominant color, 30% of a secondary color, and 20% of a third accent color.
When discussing basic color wheel theory, you may notice that there is little mention of black, brown, white, and gray. These neutral colors are simply considered to be versatile enough to use with any color scheme you choose. If you’re not happy with the way your project looks, try adding a dash of neutrals to your photo mats, title treatments, or accents to give your layout the perfect finishing touch.