Blue, one of the primary colors, generally goes well with its adjacent and complementary colors, according to its location in the color wheel. Color wheels are readily accessible on the Internet to serve as a guide in looking at colors that look good together. In finding which colors would exactly match a certain shade of blue, the basic concept is that blue can go well with the color beside it and the color opposite it in the color wheel.
Yellow or Red
The primary colors blue, yellow and red can work well together. Since a color wheel that only has these three primary colors shows that they are all beside one another, the colors yellow and red can generally go well with blue.
Violet or Green
Mixing primary colors results in the creation of secondary colors. Mixing blue with red creates violet, while mixing blue with yellow creates green. In a color wheel showcasing the primary and secondary colors, the colors violet and green are beside blue, so it follows the concept that blue can work well with the colors beside it.
When looking at the color wheel featuring the primary and secondary colors or the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, orange is the complementary color of blue, appearing opposite blue on the wheel. Orange is a secondary color resulting from the combination of red and yellow, the other two of the three primary colors.
In the same way, other shades of blue within a color wheel that features the primary, secondary and tertiary colors--specifically blue green and blue violet--also have their own complementary colors seen opposite them in the color wheel. Blue green’s complementary color is red orange, while blue violet’s complementary color is yellow orange.
Complementary colors are always seen right across each other in a color wheel. As complementary colors tend to stimulate the eye, it is an important aspect of aesthetically pleasing design in visual art. When complementary colors like blue and orange are placed together in artworks, logos or retail displays, it makes each color appear brighter as a whole. Depending on how the colors are used in a drawing, painting or graphic design, these complementary colors can ideally make the work more pleasing to the eye. Some may use a complementary color as just an accent, while some may use it as a major color scheme.
In a color wheel featuring the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, the other shades of blue known as the tertiary colors are seen beside the primary color blue. They can also work well for monochromatic combinations of blue. There are several choices available when using a monochromatic scheme. Depending on the different intensities of a single color, in this case, the color blue, the basic idea is that the adjacent colors such as blue, violet, green, blue violet and blue green (for a color wheel with the primary and secondary colors and a color wheel with the primary, secondary and tertiary colors) provide enriched color schemes that work well together.
Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.