Sunday 2 October 2022

2022 Topic 14: Colour Study : Triads - Topic introduction

Hello, it's Keren, with the third instalment in our Colour Wheel series, this time about Triadic schemes.

Each time we've looked at the Colour Wheel and some of the main colour groupings or schemes, it's really brought out the best in our bloggers and indeed, has often challenged them out of their colour comfort zone. If you're new here, or missed the previous two, we first looked at Complementary schemes where Leandra introduced the PaperArtsy paintable Colour Wheel and then a few months later, the Split Complementary scheme was explored. Leandra's video showing the paint-along (which was enormous fun and reminds me that I need to do it again) is well worth a watch (or a re-watch).

Because we've linked to that video a few times, I thought I'd add a video for those of us who love visuals, and this artist (Dr. Oto Kano) explains the basic triad combinations plus adding in some of the other schemes, but references them really helpfully as different types of triangles. 

So, what is the Triadic colour scheme? It's a simple one; 3 colours, equally spaced apart on the colour wheel. Now you can play with that spacing, creating quite different palettes.

Triadic colours, 3 spaces apart

Let's start with the most obvious, easily recognisable and often-used type of triad: the equidistant scheme or any colours with 3 colours in between them and the next colour in the trio. The three colours of this triad are obviously balanced: they are nicely distinct without being actual opposites, creating of a soft contrast.

It may be that you are still learning and exploring and want to get a real feel for how this triadic system works. There are some fabulous resources available to you and one that I found was the Canva website colour schemes tool (which is free if you're using the website not the app). Just choose a colour on the spectrum circle and choose which scheme (we'd obviously pick Triadic) and it will pull up the 3 colours in the scheme with the colour you've just picked. You'll want to play with this one for ages!

So how does it look in the PaperArtsy Fresco Finish world? 

You can start by thinking of the Triadic scheme as a 'primary' scheme as the primaries on a colour wheel are an equidistant triad. The basic Magenta, Yellow and Cyan are a perfect example as you can see below.

Of course, from our first Colour Study topic, we have encouraged you to get creative with your choice of 'primaries' when creating colour wheels. For example, Liesbeth Fidder De Vos had a post back in June when we were looking at Split Complementary schemes and began her explorations using these gorgeous colours on the Colour Wheel which marks an earthy toned Triad. Still following the Red/blue/yellow 'guidelines' but with a completely different feel!

Here's another one, this time using Cherry Red, Butter & Shutters; a cleaner yet softer group.

So how does it look on art pieces? The scheme that Lotte Kristenson used on this piece with a vintage diner vibe is very similar to the Red, Butter & Shutters scheme I outlined before. Showing that the triadic scheme can be more subtle and doesn't need to smack you in the face (artistically speaking!).

On the other hand, Riikka Kovasin's carnival character drawers incorporate a more 'primary school' primary colour scheme, showing that triadic brights have such a vibrancy and power.

To put a spanner in the works and get your thinking caps on, you do not have to go for primary colours as your triadic scheme. Using the diagram above, there are 12 segments, so there are going to be 4 different triadic schemes to choose from, and each of those colour schemes would have 3 'segments' between each of the chosen triadic colours. If you're still looking for a simple visual- how about this one?

How's this piece of patterning for an orange, violet and green scheme?

As with all the schemes, the colours just work seamlessly and therefore are a great starting point for art and in your home.

There are many different combinations of triadic colour schemes you can employ, and I'm trying to avoid too many combinations from Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics as I want to leave our bloggers to surprise you with their choices. I did want to show you how using some saturated bright colours can look really different with the addition of white. Ellie Knol has shown in this post about creating masterboards how by adding stencilling over the image in white, really softens the look.

Corrie Herriman created this fun trio of tags using another triadic scheme. Once you've learned these simple schemes, you'll begin to see them everywhere.

This piece of art is using rolled and circular paper. Such an impactful piece.

If you're wanting to watch some art demonstrations- this artist goes through several of the main colour scheme groupings. This is such a beautifully harmonious piece.

Again, these are the expected colours when using classic Red/Blue/Yellow primaries, generally quite bright. However when creating your own colour wheel, you can explore other combinations, for example, more pastel or greyish colour, as the wheel below.

Triadic colours, 2 spaces apart

Now, let's try another type of triad, this time the colours being distant of 2 spaces instead of 3.  You have 12 different possible combinations on the same colour wheel:

Even if you are basically ignoring half of your colour wheel, it is still a balanced scheme. You are working with two contrasting colours complemented by a third one that is right in the middle. Opposites provide great colour contrast but can sometime be a bit jarring and constraining.  This triad allows you to soften and widen your palette by adding a colour that will work well with both opposites while staying distinct.

Triadic colours, 1 space apart

If we make our 3 colours even closer together, we get tonal triads, where inly 1 space separates the members of the trio. Here again, 12 triads are possible on the same colour wheel.

Here you are using less than half the colour wheel, meaning you can stay completely on the warm side (8 to 1) or completely on the cool side (2 to 7) for very tonal palettes. You can also chose a triad mixing both for a more varied but still very cohesive look. With such close colours, colour contrast is minimal in the triad, creating soft and atmosphere, with easy transitions and blending between the colours.

Now all of the previous examples using primaries that still followed (more or less closely) the Red/Blue/Yellow template. What happens if you try something completely outside that box? Here is a twist: in this colour wheel the blue primary has been replaced by a neutral: Stone. Part of the wheel is now a series of coloured neutrals, making for very different triads.

You can also try to replace one of the primaries by a grey or a very light or dark colour. You can also 'shift' one of your primaries: using green instead of blue, or purple instead of red. The possibilities are endless and a great way to discover and try new and different colour combinations.

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point. Have you ever started an art piece by choosing a colour scheme that you'd never normally use and seeing how it inspires you? Why not see how our bloggers interpret the schemes (there are some really glorious combinations coming up).

If you want to create along with us, please share on our social feeds so we can see what you get up to. The best places are Instagram @paperartsy or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world! 

1 comment:

A Pink said...

Really informative read , Keren and some great resource material shared.
Really been enjoying PaperArtsy's series of Colour wheel topics x