'Natural Order' of Color Harmony
I was curious what people think of this statement by Tracy Disabato-Aust in "The Well-Designed Mixed Garden" concerning coordinating color in one's landscape or garden. She uses it to explain, for example, why light blue and dark orange flowers do not work well together:
"A simple rule of color harmony: keep lights light, and darks dark. It is more pleasing to combine tints of lighter colors with shades of darker colors than shades of lighter colors with tints of darker colors. Yellow is the lightest color and has the highest value; colors darken, becoming increasingly lower in value, through orange, green, red, and blue (in that order), finishing with violet, the darkest color and the lowest value.
Penelope Hob-house (1985) is a fan of sticking to this "natural order": "The deepest yellow will look 'wrong' with a pink, lavender, or pale blue (all tints of darker spectral hues) if it becomes higher in value Â and competes with the normally more luminous yellow." The color police have been telling us forever that pink and orange mustn't be used together - now we know why they don't usually work.
Effective combinations can also be made by either darkening (lowering the value) or lightening (increasing the value) of all the colors that are used. The mutual link would then be either all tints (pastels) or all shades. To balance colors, you generally need more of a darker color than a lighter color, if both are at full intensity."