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Color in Floral Design

Color Theory in Floristry

Red is often used to symbolize love and passion. Yellow stirs up happy and bubbly feelings. And blue can inspire thoughts of peace and serenity. In most visual art forms, color choice is crucial in creating pieces that display the intended message – and floral design is no exception! Color theory is one of the very first things to understand before being able to design exquisite floral arrangements.

In this article, we will explain the basics of color and design in the art of floristry, dive into concepts like ROYGBIV, and discuss more complex principles of color combination.

Floral Color Wheel

Depending on the flower colors, the bouquet can be soft and delicate, vibrant and cheerful, or quiet and solemn. But whichever color combination gets used, it is imperative to refer to the color wheel! Knowing which colors work well together can make your floral arrangements look more cohesive.

There are three main color theory terms: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary colors are the three colors that aren’t created by mixing other colors - red, yellow, and blue. A combination of two primary colors creates a secondary color. For example, orange is a mixture of red and yellow, blue and red create purple, and green is made by blending yellow and blue. Mixing a primary color with a secondary color forms a tertiary color. Some good examples of this are blue-green, yellow-orange, and red-purple.

Color Harmonies

Awareness of the color wheel can speed up the flower, foliage, and accessory selection process when creating a bouquet. With this knowledge, you can build harmonious floral arrangements with ease. There are many approaches to mixing colors and styles so that the flowers match a specific theme or occasion! The four basic color harmonies are complementary, analogous, monochromatic, and triadic.

Complementary colors are pairs located directly across from each other on the color wheel - examples include red and green, yellow and violet, or blue and orange. These combinations create an intriguing pallet because of the colors’ stark contrast with one another. This technique is helpful when you want to bring attention to a specific flower or group of flowers in a design.

An analogous color scheme consists of three colors found directly beside each other on the color wheel. This harmony creates two well-known divisions of color: warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (green, blue, and purple). Florists can match these color pallets to a variety of themes! Whether the bouquet is for a sympathy occasion or a delightful celebration, analogous color combinations are versatile and best used to create a modern floral design.

A monochromatic flower arrangement contains blooms that are all the same color or shades of a single color. This harmony is most common when designing sympathy bouquets – mainly due to the tradition of sending all-white floral designs to a funeral or celebration of life. But monochromatic arrangements are appropriate for any other special occasion as well. Something about using tones of a single color on the wheel can make a most elegant bouquet!

Triadic color pallets are those of three colors equidistant from each other on the color wheel. When it comes to floral arrangements, the designs often appear in either primary or secondary colors. Florists regularly aim to mix rich and soft hues within a triad for a well-balanced aesthetic.