Flower Color Theory: Analogous Colors

We love colorful flowers here at Sea Change Farm & Flower!  The caveat?  I like choosing colors with structure.

Last time on Flower Color Theory (cue dramatic music): I talked about using complimentary colors–which are opposite each other on the color wheel–as anchoring colors for a composition.

This week I want to introduce another color strategy that I use a ton: using analogous colors.

Analogous Colors

Woooooaaahhh more color theory words!  Back to the color wheel.

Analogous colors are ones that are adjacent on the color wheel.  A group of analogous colors is often a group of three colors that are best friends & neighbors.  For example, Red, Red-Violet, and Red-Orange.

Sometimes, people call these types of color schemes “Monochromatic,” but in fact they do use multiple colors.  By including colors that are close to each other, but not quite the same, analogous color scheme creates a rich, full “monochromatic” look.

Photography by Adam Okimatsu

Usually, I make analogous color arrangements when I am starting with a very narrow color constraint.  Most often, it’s a particular flower that I want to highlight.  But it can also come from a client’s request (“Please make me a purple bouquet”) or from some other item of inspiration.

In the photos above, the analogous color scheme was inspired by a dress that shifted from red to violet.

Here is an arrangement that uses an analogous color scheme with Red, Red-Orange, and Orange proper.  This bouquet was designed around those orange open-faced butterfly ranunculus, since it was a particularly great week for them at the farm.

Is there also pink in there?  Yes.  Could you call that Red-Violet?  Maybe.  But, I’m counting the pink as a tint of Red, so it’s all good.  We’ll talk about tints another time.

In a similar analogous color grouping, but using lighter tints of Red, Red-Orange, and Orange, is this dahlia-centric bouquet:

Many, many floral arrangements that I make masquerade as monochromatic, but in fact use analogous colors!  Here are some examples:

So!  Have I inspired you to ask for an analogous color bouquet this week at market?  Are there things around you that you’ve thought of as monochromatic, when in fact they use analogous colors?  I  hope you’re eyeing the colors around you with a newly critical eye!  I know I am 😉

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