Frills & Fancy ezine
Set The Mood with Color
by Shellie Williams

The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic clothing would be made from the same color in different shades producing a soothing effect. The monochromatic scheme is very easy on the eyes, especially with blue or green hues. Perhaps that is why Thomas Gainsborough’s “Blue Boy” is such a delightful painting.
The complementary color scheme consists of two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This scheme looks best when you place a warm color against a cool color, for example, red versus green-blue. This scheme is intrinsically high-contrast and will show more details of the dress you are creating. Note how the ribbons of Giovanna Baccelli show a sharp contrast in this Gainsborough painting. Imagine if it was without ribbons or just cream ribbons. More soothing? Harmonious?

The triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. This scheme is popular among artists because it offers strong visual contrast while retaining harmony and color richness. The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious. The touches of gold balance out the contrasting white and red in Gainsborough’s Henry Fredrick, Duke of Cumberland painting. Sometimes all a costume needs in to add a third color to balance it. Try it if you are not happy with a solid color and contrasting trim. Find a place to add the third color!