What Is an Analogous Color Scheme?

By Eric Tilden

Analogous color schemes communicate the entire range of human emotions, from peaceful, calm greens to turbulent reds and oranges, from warm and fuzzy yellows to cold and cruel violet. When colors are placed together in an analogous color scheme, it adds an additional dimension to any piece of fine art, emotion.

Identification

Analogous colors are three or four colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. An analogous color scheme is an artwork or design that uses three or four related colors.

Types

There are two types of analogous color schemes, cool and warm. Cool colors include green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet and red-violet. Warm colors include red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow and yellow-green.

Function

The primary function of an analogous color scheme is to convey either a warm feeling or a cold feeling.

Effects

Designs that include orange, yellow-orange, yellow and yellow-green give a warm and pleasant feeling. Designs that include blue-green, blue, blue-violet and violet are cold, impersonal and distant.

Benefits

Analogous color schemes allow the artist to communicate beyond what is depicted. Normally, a grassy meadow filled with greens and yellows reminds us of summer, but depict that same scene in blue-greens, blue flowers and violet skies and it conveys a sad, or cold feeling.

About the Author

Eric Tilden is a fantasy novelist and author of a weekly newsletter for P*JET * IMAGES, an online art website. He has been working on his fiction novels since 2005, and has written for Demand Studios since June 2009. Tilden attended the University of Michigan-Flint, obtaining an education in art, music theory, archaeology, accounting, calculus and basic graphic design.