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Color Theory Crash Course by pronouncedyou Color Theory Crash Course by pronouncedyou
This is a basic color tutorial. I'm sure a lot of you guys learned this in school, so it's basically a refresher course. Or it's more of a "put one foot into the door" sort of course. This is definitely no where near an end-all-be-all tutorial. I suggest everyone to look up multiple tutorials and draw from many places to learn. I encourage you to continue to investigate color theory, because we never really stop learning.

I've learned so much since writing this, and I hope you do, too.

Please note that I did not include every color combination ever, this was just mostly a general idea tutorial. Take what you learn and apply it to your own art. I know this is under traditional, but it is used for every type of art.

Thanks to everyone who responded to [link] ! I tried to include a lot of the combinations you guys liked. ;)

~totorochic linked some great websites for reference:
[link] this is a link for color harmonies in popular logos
[link] and this is a color scheme chooser.

The greatest way to learn color is to practice a lot, so get out there and practice <3~

Please also note that this mostly uses RGB model as opposed to CMYK, which is vastly different. If you're into digital art, look up a CYMK model of colors!

I find that gouache is the best paint to use to learn color theory, so grab some and test it out for yourself.
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Given 2012-08-04
[Stock & Resources] Color Theory Crash Course by *pronouncedyou ( Suggested by Mauser712 and Featured by Elandria )
holly10012345 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2017
sebo3e Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2016
Very good tutorial it helps with color combination when i want to choose colors for my characters i want to color
haloveteran Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
don't judge me but I am a bit lost after reading this, much info >_>

I tried to use this to help me pick out colors for a character im designing but even after reading this im lost, the character is a dragon with black skin/scales with a light grey underside and a mane/hair/goatee/whiskers that are a dark reddish brown and it has bright golden eyes. Im staring at it (used a maker game) and just feel like its missing something, but I don't know what.
StanleySweet Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Add some red ? to the eyes for instance. it doesnt have to 33% each.
BlazeDriver Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How does one create discord colors?
buniicake Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is extremely helpful!!!! Thanks for this! 
the-midnight-fairy Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Student General Artist
Please.. someone can help me?  I'm very confused.. everyone and even in Japanese magazines they  talk about a scheme color and how to pick up colors that match each others... but still i don't understand how to picking colors, based to that color weel...
I read this tutorial, but I have just confusion of colors and nothing else.

I'm doing a drawing and now finished lineart, I need to choose colors. I'm starting from the brown of hair.. but I still don't understand what colors match with brown better... there's tertiary colors, double color, 4 colors in the color weel... but how to actually use ? I dont even seen the brown I want in the color scheme, how can I know how to count to get the colors that match? 

They explain about tertiary color, etc but still when I come to color my own drawing... I can't understand what color take . All that I know is that Ive decided the color of hair (light brown). All the rest, I dont have idea how to picking up the correct colors that give the drawing a nice coloring (because the perfect colors calculation before choose a color. I dont want to use casual colors)... I'm so confused... 
See how they choose perfect colors?

I still dont understand.. how to choose color that match my brown I chose in pratical?

I need help T__T please....
FrozenDiamond267 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi! I think I may know what you mean, and I'll try to answer, but I'm not that experienced myself, so I'm sorry if there are any mistakes. 

This tutorial is very helpful, actually, since it tells you about more color schemes than most I've seen. The way to work the color wheel is to find relations on the circle, for instance across from each other or next to each other, etc. Examples are red-green(Christmas-y/festive. The red makes the green more 'green' and vice versa) or blue-purple(calm, like mountains/sunset/sea).

You can use different schemes with different effects you want. If you use mromochome it might seem more 'quiet' or peaceful than a complementary color scheme. The best way to learn this is to play around with it or find color palettes online.

The pages you linked to are also mainly about color schemes. For instance, the first one (orange and blue) used tints of the original complementary colors, blue and orange (they're across on the wheel) as a base color, and used more tints/shades for accent colors.

Brown is a little special since it's not on the color wheel. I've seen some tutorials that call it an accent color, so it should look good next to just about anything depending on the tints and shades and the personal preference of the artist/viewer. You could try to look for color palettes or take examples from other artists work, but I think it's fun to experiment yourself. :)

It's also good to look for examples in nature, since brown is common there. Brown and green is really common, but I feel like brown also looks good with blue or pink (think flowers in a forest or maybe chocolate wrappers :D ). Just play around and find what you like! :)

Normally I also try to have a piece of scratch paper to try different colors out together, so that might help! :meow:

I hoped that helped... i'm not sure how clear that was, sorry if it's still a little confusing... ^^;

(Also tint refers to the lighter versions of a color and shade refers to the darker versions, not sure if you knew. ^^)
AnnaRIART Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for this =)
bouncy72 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Wow thank u. This is awesome. I'm sticking it on my wall for a quick (gd looking) guide. Thanks again :-)
Drixtina Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice tutorial. It's very informative and easy to understand.
Kamihanaki Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you, I really struggle with choosing color schemes, in my mind I know the 'basics', but in application I have a hard time finding what looks good together. This makes it really clear and I think I have a better handle on how to use certain colors. Thanks ^^
Miriye Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very helpful! Thank you for making this ^_^
5er-Inkslinger Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Simply told, but very effective.  Well done.
riot-wild Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for this and especially the examples of good combinations. It will really help me to reference back when creating new color combinations. Sometimes its hard for me to find combinations pleasing to the eye due to my color blindness and the basic principle you have outlined are a big help
TamarRei Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As someone who's never been in an art class (small towns and homeschooling, whoo hoo~), this is much needed and appreciated.
G3oM Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing. This rly helped me understand color theory better.
RayVictoria Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is awesome!
ewolf20 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
thanks it kinda helped
NekkoriAdopts Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I learned all this in art class but I needed a refresher!
I'll be sure to refer to this when coloring, thanks for the tutorial!
Daintyorange Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Nice tutorial, thanks <3 Sooo helpful!!!
TripleRainbowDash Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! :heart:
navanavin Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you! This is veryyyyyyyyy helpful :D
serafina-rose Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you.
KWOTESCRIPTURES Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013
Thank you I will implement this.
DragonFlame123 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Astrikos Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Your wonderful tutorial has been featured here
Consider giving the article a :+fav:
bubbIies Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing tutorial (or whatever you want to call it :B)
GabrielaBorta Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! This is really helpfull :)
kairinaminemix Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Student General Artist
thanks fo this! I'm more of a pencil artist but I'm gradually trying to work my way into getting knowledge of color since I'm so bad at it... tee-hee
HCShannon Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think all artists should know this!
Sweartoad Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for this! I needed to be refreshed :D
kassieisabap Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
this is really cool...
airealataiel Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is genius, extremely well put together, incredibly helpful, and simple but HIGHLY effective. Everything on here is useful, clearly visible, and easy to access and understand. This is exactly what I was looking for when I searched for color theory and I'm very impressed. Great job!
Azley Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Brilliant, thanks a lot!
I'll try this out with a new coloring - I'm always unsure how to pick good shade colors when I color something and end up stealing with the colorpick from other pics I like (=p) So I hope I'll soon be able to set matching colors on my own =)

deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"learned this in school" LOL you overestimate the American education system :meow:
janmil000 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for the effort :)
generallaserfist Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Very concise and informative. Knowledge of color theory can turn a mediocre picture into an amazing picture.
alzang676 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This seems useful. I don't color yet, but in another 10 years or so, i'll use this for reference.
henryruss Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Student General Artist
"Discord" should be "discordant". But otherwise a great job! :D
JamesF63 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You did a real service sharing this. Thank you! And congrats on the DD!
Eri-tchi Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
This is crazily useful! Thanks a million!
philippeL Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for sharing this :hug:
queso107 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
gorgeous tutorial! very helpful, and a great refresher!
Ebrech Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Love it, thanks :)
Syntesys Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you, this is really helpful :)
TheHyperactiveSquirt Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very helpful!!Thankyou soooo much!!
Crimsonberry Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Cool! Very informative!
lemon-ANi Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
So helpful :heart:
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