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Hi Everyone! Welcome to this month's Colorletter!

What defines color harmony? Artists and color experts have often tried to explain it with different theories.

Goethe believed that the beauty of some color combinations is related to an optical illusion called Afterimage. Here is a demonstration of how the brain tends to pair one color with its complementary counterpart.

Look for 20 seconds at the dot at the center of the yellow square below. Then immediately look at the dot on the right. Your brain will recreate a so-called Afterimage, a purple/blue square. The complementary color of the previous yellow one.
Albert Munsell's color harmony instead is based on color balance.
His theory states that you can obtain harmony changing the three attributes of color: hue, lightness, and saturation.

Starting from any color, we first need to find its opposite hue, then the opposite levels of lightness and saturation.

Let's see an example:
If you need more variety you can use the same process starting from two colors that are already opposite hues, in this case purple and yellow:
In this way, you'll have a coherent set of colors.
 
Others have identified some main color harmonies based on the color wheel: Analogous, Complementary, Split-complementary, and Triadic

An Analogous scheme is created by colors that are close to each other on the color wheel. The harmony is created by their similarity:
Complementary colors are any two colors opposite to each other on the wheel. In this case, the harmony is defined by their contrast:
The Split-complementary is a variation of the Complementary scheme. It has a strong contrast with more variety:
The Triadic color scheme is created by three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. Triadic harmonies tend to be quite vibrant, even using pale or unsaturated versions of the colors. They should be carefully balanced between dominant colors and accents:

In the end, for creating attractive compositions, it seems that we need to carefully balance analogous and complementary colors.

What do you think? Try out different color harmonies using the examples above and share your experiments on your instagram using #colorletter5 I'm curious to see them!
I hope you enjoy it :)
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Speak soon,
Susanna
Colorletter by Susanna Rumiz
Colorletter is curated by Susanna Rumiz
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