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Monochromatic Color Schemes – Color Theory and Painting Tips

Basic Color Wheel showing a Monochromatic Color Selection, Orange




A Monochromatic Color Scheme, in theory, is defined by the use of only one Hue on the Basic Color Wheel.

Practically speaking, it's possible to use various different pigments of the same Hue. For example you could paint with Quinacridone Red plus Alizarin Red, and it would still be considered a Monochromatic Color Scheme. That's because they are both in the Red Hue family.

However, how do you vary this one color to make it interesting, even if you are using different versions of it?

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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Hue, Tint, Tone and Shade

Bundles of yarn in various Hues of Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue and Green

We often hear people say things like, 'What a beautiful blue hue.'  or 'What shade of green do you like?'  or 'Which tone do you prefer?' or 'That tint is too light.'



Have you ever wondered what exactly they mean by these color terms? Let me clarify the difference between them. Once you understand the difference, you'll never be unsure again. You'll also be able to describe or mix a color much more easily.

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