So . . . as of this week we are back in class!! The third period group of apprentices started on Monday. Most of them have moved through their whole training at NAIT together; first period, second period and now the final one.
Colour planning – that’s the topic we start with – but it is definitely not simple. It has been said that the human eye can distinguish up to 7 million different colours. That is, of course, one thing that makes it complex. With that capability – what does ”please the eye”? Some simple colour planning techniques are the following:
Use your Favourite colour
Where to start? Let’s face it – if you don’t like a certain colour, it will never appeal to you. Use different variations of your favourite colours in a pleasing scheme and you usually won’t go wrong. Often you can accent an existing colour scheme with a feature or accent in your favourite colour to achieve what you plan.
Architectural colour is another technique
Colour is often used to provide solutions to what are described as problems with difficult features of a room or structure. For example: does the room you are about to paint seem too small? or too large? does the ceiling appear too low? or too high? is the room on the cold, north-facing side of the building? or is it on the warm south-facing side and seems too warm for much of the time? All of these are problems that can be addressed by the colours that we use.
Make a room appear larger by using one bright colour. Make a room appear smaller by using dark, deep, bold colours. Clean white or light pastel colours will appear to visually raise a ceiling; just as warm dark ones have the opposite effect. That cold-looking room may need a warm colour like some variation of yellow and the ceiling may need a bit of colour, too. Making it off-white may be just the thing needed. To “cool” that room you feel is exposed to too much sun – use cool colours, maybe greens, and keep the ceiling a clean, pure white. Does the hallway that needs paint appear too long and narrow? try painting opposite walls in complementary or contrasting colours.
This is what is meant by architectural colour. The psychological effect of the colours should be part of the plan.
Some terms used when discussing colour schemes are analogous, monochromatic, complementary (contrasting) and harmonious. Most of these terms can be broken down to simple terms by using the colour wheel (see: The Color Wheel Company). Analogous: the colours chosen are next to each other on the colour wheel. Monochromatic: stick with one colour only and only use variations of that colour; don’t confuse monochromatic with monotonous – beautiful color planning can be achieved with this concept. Complementary: the colours chosen are directly across from each other on the colour wheel. Harmonious: colours are often chosen that form a recognizable pattern on the colour wheel – for example, a triadic harmonious scheme such as orange, violet and green form a triangle on the colour wheel – a tetrad colour scheme would form a square.
Being aware of colour groups can help you choose colours that will help to visually make a room warmer, cooler, etc.
Warm colours: red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green.
Cool colours: green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet, red-violet.
There is much more that can be said about colour planning – our third period module is about 50 pages and the training covers a week. But, try thinking of some of these basics before starting. You will go a long way towards achieving pleasing results.