Everything you need to know about choosing colours in your design or illustration

This is a detailed post to help you choose the right colours in your design, illustration or art.

Colours are convey certain feelings and message, and it’s important to know this and bring beauty to your art or design.
Hello, welcome to the blog! I am an illustrator and here I post on Lifestyle, Art and Literature. Let’s cut to the chase!

P.S I’m use to the spelling “colour.” I know my American readers spell it “color.”

1. Colour theory: This is the colour wheel, it consists of all the primary, secondary and tertiary colours (the combination of primary and secondary colours). Any other colour is the tinted or toned, or less saturated variation of these colours. In the image below, the primary colours are the three in the middle: blue, red and yellow.

I wrote on colour theory on my blog before, you can visit it after reading this post.It’s digital painting for beginners .

It’s good to familiarise yourself with the various colours in the colour wheel, that you can use in your design or art and not feel you’ve been using the same colours over again. Black and white augment colours and are ‘technically’ not colours.

2. Cool and warm colours: When painting or designing with colours, it’s very important to take note of cool and warm colours. Depending on the feeling you want to convey you can choose either cool or warm colours or a combination of both. Even changing the saturation of a colour can convey a different feeling. Warm colours: red, pink, yellow and orange convey excitement, action or anger. It’s attention-grabbing. Take red chilli pepper for example. In restaurants’ sauce, the spiciest ones always have something like “hot & spicy,” in red. Like it’s telling you, use at YOUR OWN RISK.

Everything you need to know about choosing colours in your design or illustration hopeasfro.blog

Cool colours include blue, green and purple. These colours are calming and convey a feeling of being relaxed, creative or nostalgic. Nevertheless, depending on the saturation/vibrancy it can give off the feeling of sadness, loneliness, fear.
Now we have gone over cool and warm colours. In most eye-pleasing art or design, there is a combination of warm and cool colours, because the viewer’s eyes need a place to relax on the piece. The eyes normally relax on objects painted with cool colours.

3. Saturated colours: colour saturation is the intensity of a colour in an image. It’s vivid and bright. A less saturated colour is one mixed with grey. It is not to be confused by how light or dark a colour is, although a less saturated colour looks pale and not bright.

Everything you need to know about choosing colours in your design or illustration-hopeasfro.blog
The left is saturated warm colours, the right is less saturated warm colours. Pink, being a tint of red, is also a warm colour. Less saturated colours look darker than saturated colours which are brighter and vibrant. To reduce the saturation of a colour, mix it with grey.
The left is saturated cool colours and the right is less saturated colours. Cool colours show calm, jolliness. When less saturated, it can convey a different meaning.

In design, the creative can use a saturated colour to draw the attention of the viewer, for example, the “click” button or the “buy” button. Especially when the background colours aren’t as saturated. That does well in drawing the eye of the viewer to the call to action.
For artists, the knowledge of saturated colours is also important. For instance, in painting, the colours further into the horizon are less saturated, as their colours start to blend into the background. Objects closer are painted with more saturated colours. And that helps for a 3D effect on the 2D canvas board.

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