Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Mixing and matching color harmonies

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Mixing and matching color harmonies

Now that you know how the harmony rules work, I'm going to show you how to violate those rules by combining colors from multiple different harmonies; because after all there's nothing that says you have to color your artwork in lockstep with a single color harmony. Color is altogether subjective, so you should feel free to go your own way; and I'll also show you how to adjust a few settings inside the Color Guide panel. So, I'm going to start things off by, let's say, selecting these dark leaves over here in the left-hand Artboard. And notice that even though I've selected these dark brown objects, I'm still seeing color harmonies based on the blue of the T-shirt, and I'll continue to do so as long as I don't click on this base color to change it.

Mixing and matching color harmonies

Now that you know how the harmony rules work, I'm going to show you how to violate those rules by combining colors from multiple different harmonies; because after all there's nothing that says you have to color your artwork in lockstep with a single color harmony. Color is altogether subjective, so you should feel free to go your own way; and I'll also show you how to adjust a few settings inside the Color Guide panel. So, I'm going to start things off by, let's say, selecting these dark leaves over here in the left-hand Artboard. And notice that even though I've selected these dark brown objects, I'm still seeing color harmonies based on the blue of the T-shirt, and I'll continue to do so as long as I don't click on this base color to change it.

So I'll start things off by clicking on the down-pointing arrowhead and I'm going to switch, let's say, to Compound 2, because I like the shade of yellow right there. And now I'll go ahead and click on yellow in order to apply it to the selected artwork. Now I'll click on the beige leaves and I'll switch by Harmony Rule to High Contrast 1, because I like that shade of red right there, so I'll go ahead and click on it to apply it. And then next I'll click this background rectangle and I'll switch to Compound 1 looks like the way to go. And I'll select one of these lighter tints of this orange right here; that actually looks pretty great.

Now I'm going to select my black objects, and if you take a close look at them--I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide those selection edges and then zoom in--you can see that we have a little bit of light fringe around these objects; and that indicates that we have a weak black that's jutting up against some CMY values here, so we might end up having a little bit of a trapping problem. And so to illuminate that, I'll click on Opacity up here in the Control panel, and I'll change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply; and that'll go ahead and burn those black objects into the background.

All right, now I am going to switchover to the second Artboard here by pressing Ctrl+0 to zoom out, Command+0 on the Mac, and then Shift+Page Down to advance to the next page. And I think this time-around I want to go with more of a green scheme, so I'll select the background rectangle, and I am not seeing any selection edges, because I hid them. So I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+ H on the Mac to bring it back. Apparently I don't have anything selected, as indicated by No Selection on the far left side of the Control panel; so I'll try clicking again, and this time I managed to grab the rectangle.

All right, so I know I'm hunting for a green; obviously this harmony isn't going to work, so I'll click the down-pointing arrowhead and I'll switch to Tetrad 3. I'd say that looks pretty good, and then I'll click on that central green in order to apply it. Now by defaults we're seeing shades and tints as I mentioned a couple of movies ago, but you don't have to stick with that. You've got two other options available to you. If you click on the fly-out menu icon, you'll see that you also have the option of showing Warm and Cool; so we'll see warm variations on the colors over here on the left-hand side; and finally you've got Vivid/Muted, which should really be called Muted/Vivid, because after all the muted versions of the colors--the low-saturation versions--are shown over here on the left inside, and vivid high-saturation variations are shown on the right-hand side.

Here's something else you can do. If you click on the fly-out menu icon again and choose Color Guide Options, then you can change the number of swatches that you see inside the panel, as well as how much variation occurs between the swatches. By default it's cranked up to 100%, that is, all the way to More. If you take it all the way down to Less, you'll see a preview in real-time over here inside the Color panel. Aand you'll also see that there are no variations going on whatsoever; every single one of those swatches in each row are identical, so you don't want to take the variation value down this far, in other words.

You want it to have some variation, some percentage going on. But I'm going to go ahead and crank it all the way back to 100%, because I like that; but I might increase the number of steps. You can take this value incidentally as high as 20 steps, and then you'll have these teeny little tiny swatches here; it's probably a few too many. I might take mine up to 5, however. And notice that the swatch is updated in real-time right there inside the panel. All right, now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that slight change, and I'll click in one of these gray leaves--these dark gray leaves--in order to select them; and I'll switch my Harmony Rule once again to try it to this time-around. And by the way, you do not need to follow along in lockstep with me anymore than you do with a specific harmony rule, I definitely encourage you to go your own way.

Anyway I'm going to try out one of these muted greens, let's say, in the second-to-last row. That looks pretty good to me. And then I'll click on one of the light gray objects and I'll change it to, let's say, a higher-saturation version of this red, in order to create this effect here, which I am really liking. All right, now I'll go ahead and select these background objects, the black ones, and I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac, so I can keep track of what I'm doing. And I think I'll switch harmonies again back to let's say Tetrad 2; works out beautifully. And I'll click in one of these low-saturation oranges right there in order to lighten up those dark objects. And if I want to create an interaction between the selection and the green background, then I would click on Opacity and change the Blend mode once again to Multiply.

And now I can continue to fool around with the color, I might say, you know, gosh! I'd like to try out one of these low saturation purples instead, and come up with this effect here. Now I'll go ahead and press Shift+Tab in order to hide my right side panel, so that we can check out both versions of the artwork at the same time. And that's how you color your artwork any way you like using as many harmony rules as you see fit here inside Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14359 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.