How to Decide What Colours Go Together?

In this article I’ll show you the basic ideas about how to make up your mind about what colours go together. Some people will use the same colour combinations but they may have slightly different intentions in mind when choosing colours for a piece of artwork.

What Colours go together

The simplest of the bunch is using blue green. This means that the colours in the piece will go together to enhance the colours of the background. Blue can be used to create a soft blue palette which can then be matched with green to give a dramatic effect.

If you are using this combination, it is advised that you use a clean canvas to lay the painting onto so that there is nothing to pick up onto or to get in the way of when you do collage work on top of it. Sometimes this can be difficult to achieve with an old canvas that has been rummaged through for everything in sight.

Since I’m working with the natural world, I really don’t need anything to pick up on. But for people who are artistically inclined, even these pieces will not do! That’s why it is best to use a canvas with a slight texture to it as well as clean textured paper to help the colours stand out.

You could also opt for a white paper for your canvas so that the shades of colour will still pop. I think the white paper would be better if you’re thinking about pastels and pastel is more important than a medium tone – it will come through better.

As a final note, just because a piece of art looks good when in different colours does not mean that they were made by someone who has their own personal choices. Usually what I see in those artists is that they are trying to achieve a certain look in the piece without having all the details of each colour confused.

Sometimes having a bolder hue and a softer one will work better if you want to create a strong contrast. Just don’t overdo it! It will make the piece less ‘likable!

You could also use a palette that has several colours rather than just two. Sometimes it can be nice to see the effects of such a palette if you’re experimenting.

If your favourite colour is something other than blue green then try using that instead. You could have an effect where the colours look brighter if you do the correct sort of adjustments.

Once you have completed your work, take a few moments to check if you can create a similar effect with other colours. You could try a rose pink for example if you like this type of colour.

You can also use the main colour as a base for a saturated effect, using the lighter shade of the main colour to create shades of purple, red and brown. Or you could also mix all of the colours together to produce the effect.

The result will often have a proper balance between the colours and this will make it look more exciting than a plain grey canvas! There is no reason why you can’t combine the colours in your piece to achieve a similar effect to working with just two colours!