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Split Complementary Color Schemes for Quilts




Let’s talk about the different colour schemes on the Color wheel that can be useful for quilters when deciding on a quilt colour way.

In a previous article Four common Color SchemesI’ve discussed the four common color schemes – Polychromatic, Monochromatic, Analogous and Achromatic.

This article is going to talk about the Colour Schemes known as Split Complementary color schemes. Split Complementary color schemes are shown on the Color Wheel below. As in previous articles, I use the Color Wheel from The Color Wheel Company, (with their permission to do so).


Firstly notice the large white triangle in the centre. Notice that each of the three points of the triangle has an arrow. The triangle is also marked with the words Split Complementary. That means that Split Complementary color schemes are made up of three colors, unlike the Complementary Color scheme which is made up of only two colors.

For Split Complementary colors, when placing the acute angle of the triangle on a colour, the two opposite colors that are found either side of the Complimentary color are the Split Complementary. Ergo, the Split Complementary colors of Yellow are Red Violet and Blue Violet.

So the theory is: Split Complementary colours sit either side of the Complementary Color on the color wheel.


Now, this next paragraph is the important part.

When we say YELLOW’s Split Complimentary colors are Red Violet and Blue Violet, we are including the tints, tones and shades of YELLOW, RED VIOLET and BLUE VIOLET. That means we can say that YELLOW in all its tints tones and shades has as its complementary colors of RED VIOLET and all its tints, tones and shades, and BLUE VIOLET and all its tints, tones and shades.



Here’s a great example of the Split Complementary colors of YELLOW and BLUE VIOLET and RED VIOLET made up into a quilt:




Now, using the Color Wheel, turn an arrow onto Green. What are the Split Complementary colous to Green? Look to the two colors that sit next to the Complementary Color of Red. The answer is RED VIOLET AND RED ORANGE.




Here are a couple of quilts using Split Complementary color schemes.
Orange and its Split Complementaries, Blue Green and Blue Violet:



Yellow Orange and its Split Complementaries Blue and Violet



My next color article will deal with Triad color schemes for quilters.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Judie Bellingham. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Judie Bellingham. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Judie Bellingham for details.

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