"Color Theory is a set of guiding principles that can be used to create harmonious color combinations. These ideas are represented in a variety of diagrams- color wheels, triangles, and charts that help designers and understand color interactions, select and combine colors, and construct pleasing and effective palettes."
- This definition taken from Color Design Workbook by Adams Morioka and Terry Stone, is a very exact definition. For me, color theory is the same as they describe it, but also the understanding of the relationship of these colors together and what kind of mood or effect they have on design or any type of visual art for that matter.
Complementary: These colors such as red and green, are directly across from each other on the color wheel. This color theory creates a dynamic and contrasting effect on the viewer.
Split Complementary: In addition to the base color, it uses the two colors adjacent to its complement. It is just as stimulating as complementary but it calms down by adding the third color. An example would be red, green, and yellow.
Double Complementary: this is a combination of two complementary pairs together. Red, Green, Blue and Orange.
Analogous: THis is probably my favorite color theory. It creates a smooth effect by using 3 colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel. Ex. Red, Red-orange, and orange.
Triadic: Any three colors that are spaced evenly from each other on the color wheel such as red-orange, yellow-green, and blue-purple.
Monochromatic: This is a theory made from one color, but using tints and variations of this one color.
[some examples I have created from my color star]