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I thought I'd wear my favorite purple scarf because I always get so many compliments on it. And we will be talking about complimentary colors. But not to be confused by an I versus an E. A compliment can be a kind word, or a flattering comment. And a complement, or complementary colors, are opposites on the color wheel. When placed next to each other, they vibrate like crazy when placed on top of each other in equal amounts, they create a neutral color. And relationship to light using compliments to show contrast of light and shadow, enhances interest because the colors play with one other in a way that value alone does not.
A perfect example of this is the stage lighting at a concert. The complementary relationships used here, with the band New Sweden, increase the drama and dimensionality of the figures on stage. It's interesting the actual light is used to increase the color of the shadows. The area in the light is lighter in value, and typically More saturated, so that it feels more like light than the ones beaming in the shadows. This is another excellent example that demonstrates the dramatic impact of complementary color with focused light.
In this case, on her eyes. With the repetition of the eye color in the form of a blue green as a supportive version of that color in the background. Both the eyes and background are reacting to the warm chili pepper hair that react and contrast in temperature and as a complement to the blue-green background and the distinctly blue eyes. If we flip this image to black and white, we can see that the system of value contrast and the highlights and the dark values of the chili peppers is also creating focus on the girl's face.
Complementary color is often overlooked as a powerful element for more dramatic color development. Whether used as a contrast in light and shadow, as solid tone for shapes of color and designing an image, or as a tool for creating layers or glazes to increase contrast, knowing how to use it will surely Dare I say it, complement your work nicely.
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