Triadic Color Scheme

Triadic Color Scheme, tips and technique for artists, illustrators, mangakas and concept artists.

The triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. This scheme is popular among graphic designers, photographers, and some artists because it offers strong visual contrast while retaining balance, and color richness. The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious.

Triadic Color Scheme Direction

triadic color scheme Triadic Color Scheme

triadic color scheme

Pros: The triadic color scheme offers high contrast while retaining harmony.
Cons: The triadic color scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme.

The below image is somewhat the close to Triadic color scheme with a little tweaking of the older version that I could find from my stash. icon smile Triadic Color Scheme * Mostly I like working in complimentary color scheme, triadic is harder. TIPS: The more colors you have to deal with the more difficult to balance them.

triadic color painting Triadic Color Scheme

triadic color painting

1. Choose one color to be dominant element and used in larger amounts than others. The last two can be used as secondary and so on.
2. If the colors look gaudy, try to subdue them either by using the less saturate hue or push it back into the back ground.

More color scheme tips and technique
-Monochromatic and Achromatic color scheme
-Analogous color scheme
-Complementary color scheme

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About Xia Taptara

Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded ( in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Or CONTACT ME via idrawgirls Facebook page. DO NOT E-MAIL ME. Thank you. ;-)
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  • Cassle Tanggyono

    I love that style of colors! And I’m glad to know that it’s called Triadic! Cool…!

  • Xia Taptara

    LOL, this style is quite hard for me. I usually do Complimentary or Double complementary. But yeah, go for it.

  • Cassle Tanggyono

    What’s complimentary and double complementary?

  • Xia Taptara

    Look on category on top under Technique then you will find them.

  • Cassle Tanggyono

    Thanks a lot! :)