There are other ways of producing complementary harmonies but it will be helpful to you to remember the three ways described above. Further illustrations of these three methods of producing color harmony are given in this paragraph. First, complementaries may be harmonized by making both colors pale and delicate, as, for example, combining a pale lemon yellow with a delicate orchid color. Delicate colors of this type are often referred to as pastel shades. A second method of producing a complementary harmony is to make both colors dull or perhaps dark and rich. A dark, red mahogany chair upholstered in dark, rich, green velour illustrates this type of harmony. The third way of harmonizing complementaries is to keep one color dull and make the other color bright. In such a combination it is best to use a small amount of the bright color. A dull blue curtain behind a bowl of bright orange bittersweet is an example of such a harmony.
Something to Do. - 1. Experiment with samples of materials and decide by discussion with your class what complementary combinations are most harmonious.
2. Keep a list of the complementary combinations which you see before your next lesson. You will see these in books, flowers, costumes, pottery and many other places. Be prepared to describe to the class a combination that you thought particularly pleasing.
3. Plan the colors in your new outfit for next season according to one of the three types of color harmonies, monochromatic, adjacent or complementary. This is to include hat, shoes, dress, coat and gloves. Write a description and mount samples of the colors so that they will be in a convenient form for class criticism. Choosing a Color to Wear. - When you are choosing a color to wear you may think about the color of your hair and eyes but if you are wise you will think far more about the color of your skin. It is the skin color that helps most to give the general effect of health and beauty. Every girl likes to have pink in her face because it is a sign of health and well being. The colors which she chooses to wear may make her look rosy or they may make her look more pale and sallow. Occasionally there is a girl who has too much color in her face and she wishes to look less ruddy. If you do not have a perfect complexion but one that is rather pale and sallow, the most helpful thing that you can do is to eat and exercise properly so that your complexion will improve. That should be your first consideration before learning what colors are most becoming for you to wear.
Reflection of Color in Your Face. - One way in which the color of your dress may make your face seem more pink is by means of reflection. Did you ever hold a dandelion under your chin to see if it reflected yellow on your neck? Try holding a piece of pink paper under your chin and ask your neighbor if it reflects any color on your neck. It is easy to see from this experiment how the color of your dress may reflect into your face and make it look more rosy or more sallow according to the color of the dress. Pale colors or pastel shades are not strong enough to reflect color to any noticeable extent. A bright yellow dress may reflect so much yellow into a sallow face that it is very sallow indeed. A pale yellow dress would not have the power to reflect so much yellow and therefore has less effect on the color of the skin.
Something to Do. - 1. Experiment by holding pieces of colored paper or cloth under the chins of other girls to see how color is reflected. Try samples of the same colors but of different values, for example, a pale pink and a bright red.
2. Ask the opinion of your neighbor as to the most becoming color that can be reflected into your face.
Effect of Complementary Colors on the Complexion. - When complementary colors are contrasted with each other, each of the colors seems brighter. You can prove this by experimenting with two pieces of paper complementary in color. One piece should be much larger than the other. First, hold the colored papers apart. Then place the small piece in the center of the large piece. In which position do they appear brighter? Try this with pale colors as well as with bright colors in order to see the effect. A sallow complexion, which means that there is a great deal of yellow and orange in the skin, may look more sallow if a bright blue dress is worn. A lavender or purple dress is also likely to make the skin look more yellow. A dark blue dress such as navy blue or midnight blue seems to have little effect, however, on the sallow complexion because the colors are so dark that the contrast of color is not evident.
Most girls have good complexions and do not have to avoid certain colors. They wear different colors for the sake of variety. Yet it is always true that one or two colors are most becoming and you will be interested to know which colors are most becoming to you. If you have a favorite color find out if it is the most becoming color for you to wear.
Something to Do. - 1. What color might bring out the red in your face by means of contrast? What color might bring out the red by means of reflection?
2. Experiment with large pieces of different colored cloth by draping them around your shoulders and ask your classmates to tell you which colors are the most becoming. Be sure that the cloth is pulled close around the neck so that the full effect of the reflection and contrast is seen.