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anyone help with color wheel

Posted by poorbutroserich Nashville (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 12:24

Hello. I remember some of you all are well versed in color. I've purchased a color wheel to help with complementary and contrasting colors. Um. I'm not an artist and need a bit of help. If anyone would be so kind as to email me to help with usage. I'm attaching the photo and there is a reverse side too.
Susan
dee eye cee tee A at cee o m cee A S tee dot net
Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Here's what I know-

The color wheel is a guide to mixing pigments. Pigments are derived from minerals and plant compounds. If you mix lots together you get brownish greyish color. If you mix them all together you get black in theory but I find mostly you get dark browns unless you use mostly blues and violets or deep reds.

To see the pure colors of nature, a prism is usually used to take "white" light and get the distinct colors of the rainbow from it. The colors you see are what you start with. So if you have a blue color similar to a prism blue, then you can begin to modify it by adding other pigments.

A color wheel organizes the colors so that relationships are easily seen. The 3 main colors are blue red and yellow (primary)and from them can be made other (secondary) colors by mixing them together. Orange lies between red and yellow because if you mix red and yellow pigments, you can create a variety of orange colors. The same is true for greens and purples/violets. You cannot create primary colors by using secondary colors unless by magic you were able to extract one of the primary colors out of a secondary color .

The colors next to the secondary colors are tertiary colors which are like secondaries but with more influence of a particular primary ( a red orange or a blue green for example.

As far as gardening goes, you can use color relationships to create themes and moods. The color wheel is sometimes thought of as warm and cool with the warmer reds, yellows, oranges and warm greens being the warm part and everything else belonging to the cool part.
Also colors being near to each other on the wheel are said to be more harmonious than those opposing each other. Colors across from each other are said to be complimentary and highly visually stimulating. Red/green was always my favorite but my sister loves a good yellow/violet in the garden.

Any color scheme can be made more harmonious by adding white into all the colors present ( a pastel garden of many kinds of colors) or by adding black into all the colors present. Deep dark foliage and blooms of every color.

Lighter brighter and warmer colors appear to come forward and cooler,darker more muted colors appear to recede. A bright yellow rose jumps out against cool dark green foliage or a dark stone wall. A cool red or pink rose blends in with a deep green hedge or dark wood fence. It stands out against a warm background of yellow dasies or light warm green foliage. Any bright or dark color jumps out against a white stucco wall or picket fence.

If you want a color in the garden to jump out then surround it with something different. It could be lighter or darker or a color directly across on the color wheel. If you want colors to blend quietly, use colors with similar amounts of white in them or all deep colors or else colors that are neighbors on the color wheel like red, burgundy,pinks with purple in them purple and even blue purple. An all blue garden with green leaves is quiet and restful because blue and green are close to each other as green is directly related to blue.

Often I see that a garden will have a blend of colors where the colors are all related in some way to achieve harmony and then there will be an added zing of some color or group of related colors to add spice or be a focal point.

I saw a very nice garden with all yellow and white flowers with some pale orange and pale pink flowers to make it interesting. The contrast was some red and hot pink flowers placed here and there.

A holiday favorite is either a majority of red and green with a bit of white for emphasis or else a majority of green and white with the red used for contrast.

My own garden has areas of green and white only to which I add one or two colors if I want to make focal points, and an area of pastel blends of many colors. I like to group roses that are warm together and group the cool ones together with pink and white roses forming the transitions between the groups. I like it better in my photos than when I used to plant them randomly although that had a fun confetti feeling to it.

Contrast matters. I have a wonderful white climber going up a wire but because the sky is always very light blue most days I only see green leaves and the white blooms are lost looking across the yard or as I look up into the sky at it. The purple clematis growing in that climber always jumps out visually and the poor roses are practically invisible.


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Awesome Kitty! That is exactly what I was looking for. I am building a carriage house that is going to run approximately 40 ft and will essentially be the Eastern wall of my garden. I'm trying to figure out the best color to paint it so that it will make a great backdrop for my roses. I'd love to do it some kind of slate gray tone but I'm afraid that will absorb too much of the Western sun making it awfully hot in there.
I really appreciate your thoughtful answer!!!!
Susan


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

There's a resource on the Web called Kuler. It's mainly intended for designers, I believe, but it really helps to show you how colours look when combined in different ways. It's a bit overwhelming but very inspiring.

There's also a terrific iPhone app called Color Expert that lets you manipulate a colour wheel. You can photograph something- a wall you like, say, or a flower or a paint chip- and it will suggest complimentary colours and allow you to combine and manipulate them.

don

Here is a link that might be useful: Kuler


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Any neutral color will make it easy to plant whatever you want in front of it. The great thing about grey is that it goes so well with stone and you can shift it toward any cool colors like grey greens, grey blues, even a bit of violet is pretty in grey. Any of those will show up whites and harmonize with any cool colors. Warm colors will jump out against cool grey. Cool green foliage will sing. Blues will shimmer. Darker reds and violets will look contemporary. White looks clean and crisp if its a grey with some blue in it.

Try this experiment- take magazine or catalog flowerbed photos and cut them out. Put them over a backdrop of the color you want to use. You can buy acrylic paint student grade reasonably at Michaels or another art supply store. Get a cool grey, a white and a black to make a few different greys and make a few test sheets. If you think you want it cooler, get a tube of cool blue and a tube of purple to modify it. I did this when I painted my fence. I cut out a photo I printed of the flowers from the previous year and layed it over the color swatch. You find out fast which colors you DON'T want.


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

  • Posted by saldut 9-10 st pete, fl (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 17:33

Interesting, but there is a difference between using color in a house, etc., and using color outside, in the garden.... everything in the garden is tempered by the sky, which is blue....take a piece of cardboard, poke a pin-hole in it, look thru' it, and see what color is there....you can use every color in a garden because it is tempered by the sky and by the foliage, the green ties it all together....aftr all, Mother Nature doesn't use a color-wheel, she just throws it all together in the mix, and it all comes out harmonious... actually, if one tries to limit the garden colors to 'cool' or 'warm' or whatever, it won't be as vibrant or interesting.... the color-wheel is more for a painter or artist or for decorating and is a big help there....sally


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

"...you can use every color in a garden because it is tempered by the sky and by the foliage, the green ties it all together."

This is a great point. Keep in mind that in nature green is actually plays the role of a neutral which might be something to think about when looking for a paint color.

Speaking of neutrals, very few of the colors in your garden--when you consider the whole landscape--are the straight-from-the-tube color as represented on your color wheel. While the blooms may be more pure/bright they are really more like accents that draw your eye because of their intense chroma.

Personally, what I like in garden design is not how the color of this bloom plays on that bloom, but how the foliage colors are used as structure to showcase the blooms. And that goes back again to neutrals and how you manage them.


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

I agree that the blue sky and the green leaves are dominant, but I have seen some very clever gardens where the colors were chosen in a calculated way. I would divide my roses into saturated colors and less saturated colors. The saturated colors I have are placed carefully these days in the areas that I want to be focal points. The rest is a blend of pastel and less saturated hues.

In a very limited fashion do I use complimentary schemes unless it is red/green seasonally. I prefer to focus on the light dark contrasts like a black and white drawing or picture has. One complaint of HTs is the look of the canes in the lower sections of the plant. Planting against a wall of foliage the same green cancels that out visually for me. I add a lighter green at the base for contrast and they are almost gone.

Susan is smart to consider the color of her wall. Something that large is going to be a dominant feature. That much color is going to reflect back into the garden. I am trying to get enough bricks together to cover a large wall because the light color is so dominant in all my pictures. I think the space will look larger when that warm color is not coming forward visually. A nice cool dark red will recede in the shade of the eaves. I went and looked at houses that had brick, cool color like medium blues, or large dark green foliage on south facing walls and it makes a difference. What I'm after is perfecting the view from the seating area as I look toward the house. The view out the window is great but it's the view the other direction that needs work.

I love the days when we get a truly blue sky as most of the time, my area gets a very pale blue and like I said, my white roses just vanish against it. Sunset is the most dramatic time that the sky influences the color in my garden. Yellow, pink and peach roses glow and red roses have a beautiful luster. Whites get a pearly shine and as the greens become subdued, they stand out in contrast.

The big feature I would love to have as a background would be a pond. I love roses and water together. On blue sky days, there is nothing better.


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Fantastic. You all have given me great food for thought! And while I won't have a pond I do intend to have a bit of water here and there.
Susan


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Something else besides the neutrals as described above that can tie different garden areas together are doors, pieces of pottery, garden structures or other non plant things that are the same color. In my case, I've been collecting or painting things blue for a lot of years - it's probably become so popular it's over used but I don't care, I still love it. It's an unexpected but common color that is through the various small areas that make up my garden.

IMG_6667
Summers are short up here and I've learned to love the way other plants that are textured and have a longer season of interest, like some grasses and shrubs, add to the beauty of the garden.

IMG_6008


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Something else besides the neutrals as described above that can tie different garden areas together are doors, pieces of pottery, garden structures or other non plant things that are the same color. In my case, I've been collecting or painting things blue for a lot of years - it's probably become so popular it's over used but I don't care, I still love it. It's an unexpected but common color that is through the various small areas that make up my garden.

IMG_6667
Summers are short up here and I've learned to love the way other plants that are textured and have a longer season of interest, like some grasses and shrubs, add to the beauty of the garden.

IMG_6008


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

sorry, I don't know why that posted twice. :(


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

My goodness Gene, your garden doesnt look as young as we know it is. You have certainly done a wonderful job.
Thamk you for the tip using an accent color for unification.
So January will be spent garage saling for blues and copper.
Jeannie


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Thanks, Jeannie, that's sweet. The red tree above is a Japanese maple that I didn't plant and the yellow is a filbert tree which is quite old, I think. The squirrels are sure happy with it as they eat all the nuts. I'm finishing up my third year here. Hard to believe it's been that long.


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Look at how Harborroses' red tree is the thing your eye goes to right away. That's the power of a complimentary relationship at work. The big golden yellow mass is next due to it being the lightest thing and much lighter in value than the green foliages. If you took a B&W picture, the red would mix in with the greens and the light yellow would stand out.

I love the beautiful blues throughout. It makes the garden sparkle. This is one beautiful garden. Lots of interest and a nice balance of color and textures.


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

I love this too. Thanks for sharing. I don't have any evergreens nor shrubs in my garden for "bones". Well, not much anyway. Inspiring.
Susan


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Well, thank you both.

You know, though, I gardened in the black gumbo of north Texas for a number of years and fought heat, bugs, drought and gooey soil. What I can do here with this soil, water, trees, etc., is amazing compared to gardening in other places I have lived. It is raining non stop and will from November through early July probably and there are other kinds of issues, but really gardening here is so much easier. I'm just saying that because it's not so much that I'm an amazing gardener as this state isn't called "The Evergreen State" for nothing. Just sayin'

I do think though that a garden with just roses gets kind of boring, especially in climates where you have four seasons. There are a lot of other beautiful shrubs and trees that can liven up the garden so your time of beauty is not just a few summer months. Anyway, for whatever all that's worth, and thank you again for your kind comments.

Susan, have you looked at any viburnums? There are some beautiful shrubs in that family that will grow quickly and have beautiful berries. There is a great book on viburnums written by Dr. Dirr that is worth having and reading. And hydrangeas do great in Nashville too. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, though. Roses are great, but they're like icing in a garden or on a cake. Too much and it can become cloying; my humble opinion, of course. :)

Gean


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

Hi here is a free color wheel, found on colors-4life.com. It can be used with just about anything. Too make colors pop, they say you should use complementary colors. Complementary colors are contrasting colors that pop, and are opposites on the color wheel chart.

Here is a link that might be useful: Color Wheel Chart


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RE: anyone help with color wheel

yes the complementary colors are the opposites on the color wheel. all colors come from primary colors which are blue red and yellow . Black and white are shades they do not count as a color. Yellow blue and red mixed together make brown which is your neutral. So to make colors that complement you need all three colors in same tone orange aka (yellow and red) and purple aka (blue and red) those are secondary colors . Tertiary colors work the same the complementary color will be made up of the opposite but always the two colors will have some combo of the three primary colors so you neutralize the look to your eye.

Julia


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