Color is influential in every aspect of our lives. It conveys a warm or cool feeling and can draw you in or divert attention. It can create feelings of cheerfulness, sadness, love or tranquility. In flower arranging knowing how to blend colors together can make or break your design so careful thought should go into your choice of colors before you start.
Flowers come in an astounding number of hues and shades due to continual crossbreeding. This is the most true in roses. There are well over a hundred different types of roses now of every shade imaginable and counting. They have even been bred now to have two or three different shades on the petals and are fast becoming a new favorite for florists and customers alike.
If you are new to arranging or still struggle with how to put color together, take heart, there is help in the form of what’s called the color wheel. It is made up of primary colors, secondary colors and intermediate colors. The first thing one needs to understand, is that the primary colors are only three colors, red, blue and yellow. All colors are made from combining these colors but you cannot make red, blue or yellow by combining any colors.
Red is a very hot, passionate and strong color. It creates drama in an arrangement. Red can make you think of Christmas or Valentines. Yellow is a happy color and evokes a feeling of anticipation like you experience when spring has arrived and the sun is shinning and things are coming back to life. Birthday arrangements or baby arrangements often have yellow as it does evoke that feeling of cheerfulness.
Blue is a cool color and creates a softer feeling like you may experience when looking at the sky in the summertime.
Combining primary colors together creates secondary colors. Red and yellow make orange, red and blue make purple and yellow and blue make green.
Orange is a dramatic color, not as hot as red but it still has impact. If you want an arrangement to have the autumn feel then you should combine colors such as browns, gold or a bit of yellow and red-orange together. It will make a bold statement.
Purple is a vibrant color but unlike red and orange it has a calming effect. When you combine purple, blues, pinks and a bit of yellow together, you get this luscious vibrant and soothing arrangement.
Green is a universal color that goes with any color of arrangement. In nature all flowers spring up from greens so it is very natural to use them in all arrangements. In fact, I like to put together three different shades and textures of greens together before putting any flowers in my arrangement. It is very effective.
You can take any of these color combinations and put them together in their lighter or darker shades depending on what mood you are trying to create. Also, you do not need to stick to just these color combinations. If you want drama, try mixing together dark red, purple, yellow and a bit of white. Contrast can make quite a bold statement.
Last but not least here is a list of colors on the color wheel starting with yellow:
Yellow orange, orange, red orange, red, red violet, violet, blue violet, blue, blue green, green, and finally yellow green. Of course you could make many more hues but for our purpose here we stick with the color wheel.
I hope this helps.
Willie Jones is a freelance writer, researcher and artist. She not only designs floral arrangements but likes to surround herself with floral motivational posters. When art inspires, dreams become reality!