When seeking out combinations of color in nature, I am often drawn to scenes with complementary colors. Notice the spelling here – complementary not complimentary. Yes, complementary colors are visually pleasing and feel balanced when used together in combination, but they are called complementary (root word complete) not complimentary (root word compliment) because when used in combination, they complete the color spectrum.
For example, this image contains the complementary colors of blue and yellow. So why are they complementary? When referring to colors of light (also called additive coloration) red, green, and blue are the primary colors and when used in combination, they complete the color spectrum by making white. In our example, blue contains one-third of the color spectrum by being one of the three primary colors. Yellow contains two-thirds of the remaining color spectrum by including equal amounts of red and green.
Complementary colors are often used in art and fashion because the effect is visually stimulating and the individual colors appear brighter and more vibrant together then if viewed either solo or within other color combinations.
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