In the use of one color with another of contrasting character the question frequently arises, what proportion of each should be used to obtain the best effect?
Illustrative color sample books usually show samples of colors of the same size, leading you (unconsciously) to the conclusion that contrasting colors should occupy the same (equal) surface area.
In every room there must be a prevailing or dominant color, and the use of a contrasting color must be limited to proportions which give simply a pleasing emphasis.
For instance… a room that has the same green color in the trim, drapes and furniture. To paint all the walls in red of a direct contrast would be ineffective.
If a rule can be applied we would say that no strong normal color should be used in large surfaces.
If we were dealing with pigments we would say that if one-sixth of a room is devoted to a specific green, the balance of the wall space should be treated with the same amount of red, mixed with the same amount of gray.
COLOR IN LARGE OR SMALL ROOMS
For a large room that is full of natural light, yellow, red and orange in delicate shades are not as desirable as orange, violet and russet in light shades.
- This rule, however, may be reversed for a large room that is dimly lighted.A superabundance of light gives an uncomfortable glare.
For a room that is small and filled with natural light… the fresh tints are not as desirable as the grayed shades of colors.
We would emphasize that the influences of color is very largely the result of studied proportions. The foundation of choosing colors is based on a sound understanding of color theory and theory of scale. Scale is mechanically determined.
If red is lightened by the addition of white, or darkened by the addition of black, it is removed to another scale, and can only harmonize by contrast with its complement by adding to green the same amount of white or black that has changed the character of the red, and this should be mathematically accurate.
To place white by the side of a color heightens or intensifies the tone of that color.
To put black beside a color has the opposite effect. It weakens the color.
Every woman looks better in white, hence white is the universal wedding gown, the universal party dress for children, and, wherever practical, the universal Summer dress for adults as well. White is worn universally by men and women next to the face, in collars or in neckwear, and the reason for it is that the contiguous white intensifies whatever color they may possess. Black, on the other hand, lessens the color or lowers its tone.
Gray is a medium between the two. While it renders an adjacent color less brilliant, it takes to itself at the same time a tint that is a complement of that adjacent color. In other words, gray by the side of green appears faintly pinkish.
Back is always desirable as an associate with luminous colors. Black does not associate as well with two colors, one of which is luminous and the other sombre, as when associated with two luminous colors.