Basic Color Complement
Because royal blue is a combination color, its most basic complement is also a combination of two colors – yellow-orange. The yellow-orange color is the most complementary color of royal blue and sits across from it on the color wheel. In art, orange and yellow are often used in conjunction with various shades of blue, including royal blue. Vincent Van Gogh is well known for his use of these colors in his paintings and most especially in his painting Café Terrace on the Place du Forum.
The three colors located nearest a color on the color wheel pair well with a color to complete a unified color scheme, often referred to as analogous colors. Royal blue has six analogous colors, which includes purple, red-purple and red on the left side, and blue, blue-green and green on the right. Various hues – created with the addition of black or white – of these shades are also complementary. Analogous colors of royal blue pop when used for decorating a room with a seaside theme.
A monochromatic color scheme is an option for a blue scheme that is anything but basic. This type of royal blue color scheme consists of different values of blue color. In a monochromatic royal blue scheme, royal blue is the base color. Add white to create lighter shades and add black to create darker shades. Pablo Picasso exemplified this color scheme during his Blue Period, which lasted between 1900 and 1904. Fashionistas and interior decorators employ the use of these monochromatic colors to make a unified look, but often add a splash of color like gold, silver or pink for accents.
Color Triad Complements
A color triad is formed by pairing together colors that are equally distant from each other on the color wheel. Royal blue’s color triad consists of yellow-green, orange-red and royal blue. Various shades of these colors may be used to create beautiful color schemes with the addition of white to create lighter softer tones, or black to create bolder, darker tones. For instance, a royal blue throw pillow with light-yellow green trim might be used to accent a tan-colored couch.
Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.