Using Contrasting Colors

The aim of this article is to explain contrasting colors and to define the terms associated with with creating contrast. It is very helpful if Intermediate Skill Level Doodly Tutorial #23: Choosing Color
has been read prior to reading this TIP.

What are contrasting colors?

In simplistic terms, these are colors that differ from each other. The further away from each other, on a color scale, the colors are, the more contrast they are said to contain. Color theory uses the RGB scale only when discussing contrasting colors.

What is Color Theory?

This is a term that refers to a conglomeration of information when working with colors. Learning the basic of color physics, the color wheel, color terms such as hue, value, tint, shade and saturation and a lot more. Although Colors on the web hasn’t been active for about 6 years, they have amazing information about this subject. Color Theory Colors on the Web


These are directly from the Beach Painting and Cornell websites

Hue: Refers to the dominant color family. Hue refers to the origin of the colors we can see. Primary and Secondary colors (Yellow, Orange, Red, Violet, Blue, and Green) are considered hues; however, tertiary colors (mixed colors where neither color is dominant) would also be considered hues.

Value: The relative lightness or darkness of a color.

Tint: Refers to any hue or mixture of pure colors to which white is added. Pastel colors are generally tinted colors. Tinted color remains the same color, but it is paler than the original. When mixing a tint, always begin with white paint and gradually mix in small amounts of color until you’ve achieved the tint you want.

Shade: A hue or mixture of pure colors to which only black is added. It contains no white or gray. Shade darkens the color, but the hue remains the same. When mixing a shade, begin with the color itself then add black one drop at a time.

Saturation: Color Intensity in an image. The brighter the and more pronounced or vivid a color becomes, the more saturated that color is said to be.

Color Calculator provides a free color scheme calculator to help choose contrast color schemes. Color Calculator