Why Learning Basic Colour Theory Is Important

undefined Hello Crafty People!

Today I’m sharing this clean & simple no-line colouring of the Sunflower digi stamp from Sunshine & Bee Designs, available at The Little Paper Tree. This was so much fun to colour and I loved how it turned out so much that I kept it super clean & simple.

I added some orange into the bases of each petal to work as my shadow and also to offer a deeper tone into my Sunflowers. I worked on a few petals at a time, starting with those at the front that aren’t sitting behind another petal.


As I moved further into the colouring I realised that the orange wasn’t giving the illusion of shadow, meaning that my flowers were looking very flat, which definitely wasn’t what I wanted! I didn’t have a darker yellow or orange that could work so I added very small amounts of BV00, which is a very pale purple, into the very base of the petals and anywhere that one is overlapping another.

This technique of adding a completely different colour calls on the idea that Orange & Purple are opposite each other on the colour wheel, making them complimentary colours. Complimentary colours are ones that look good next to each other but do not mix well as they tend to make a sludgey brown shade.

We would usually avoid mixing complimentary colours, which is why it is important to consider when ink blending or watercolouring for example.


However! Complimentary colours also, when used in very small amounts, work to ‘dull’ their partner down a little; a touch of green will mute a vibrant red for example.

Which is why I used a very pale purple here, to give me that darker colour really needed to add some depth into the flowers and give them a more realistic look.

Knowing the ways different colours interact is so immensely useful for anyone who wants to take their colouring skills to a new level; the best way to learn this is by trialling colours together! Before I added the purple to this I trialled them together on some scrap paper.


Colour theory may feel like something you don’t need to know, but I can’t stress enough just how much these basics have changed the game for me!!

I made a colour chart with my watercolours, which shows me the effect different each colour has on another and I have this up on the wall in my craft room so that I can look at it whenever I need a reminder. It was fun to do, it taught me a LOT and it looks so nice up on my wall! Win-win-win!!

If you give it a go for yourself I would love to see!! And if you try adding a complimentary colour to your own colouring then tag me in so I can see it!! Happy crafting!

Thank you for visiting my blog today. If you’d like to see more of my artwork & how to’s and/or hear my thoughts on living with a chronic illness then please consider subscribing. T.

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