Complimentary Colours Review


In this module the focus so far was on developing a collection of textures and stamped marks and shapes using complimentary colours. Before we move onto the final collage projects it is important to pause and to reflect on what has been created, and in particular the range of the available complimentary colours that can be used.

The range of complimentary colours is quite wide, not just the primary and basic secondary colours. The primary and secondary colours can be can altered to suit your own sense of colour and taste.

Complimentary colours are in contrast with each other by their nature, and it is important to look through the sheets painted already in the previous modules to create a selection of colours to choose from.


Take time to review your painted deli sheets, the ones created by means of stamping and masking as well as the solid sheets of colour. Arrange them by ranges that fall broadly under the following colours:

  • Red

  • Yellow

  • Blue

  • Green

  • Purple

  • Orange

Look carefully because some colours will fall into two categories, for example certain reds will lean towards orange or purple, yellow can lean to green or orange, blue can be quite purple or green depending on what the primary colour had been mixed with.

This is fine, but it's important to look at them carefully next to other colours and not in isolation. Cut pieces out of the sheets that will be used for the collages and arrange them alongside each other, creating little swatches of complimentary colour parings that you like the look of.

Although complimentary colours are in contrast, it is possible to use them in more harmonious arrangements. Have a look at this Pinterest board of artworks featuring complimentary colours. Note that this board is about COLOUR and not the STYLE of art.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour