How to match colors according to Itten circle theory
How to match colors according to Itten circle theory

In this article we will explain what it is and how to build an Itten cirle. It is a very important tool to understand which are the primary, secondary and complementary colors. Let's start by introducing you to the inventor, Johannes Itten. He was a Swiss painter, writer and designer of the early 1900s. Johannes was a dedicated student of colors, so much so that he created a chromatic circle, the Itten circle, to represent pure (or fundamental) colors and their descendants from mixtures. Itten worked in a school of architecture, art and design that was very important for the art of the twentieth century - the Bauhaus.

ITTEN CHROMATIC CIRCLE: EXPLANATION

Itten, as we have already anticipated, is responsible for the classification of colors. On the basis of their aesthetic and communicative aspect, he divided them into: primary, secondary and tertiary.

As you can see from the image, in the center of the circle there is a triangle that contains the three primary colors, which are red, yellow and blue. By mixing these colors, the secondary colors are obtained around the triangle to form a hexagon, which are green, orange and purple. Finally it can be seen how the circle is closed with 12 colors which are the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, that is, the other colors that are obtained from a further mixture.

By visually ordering the primary and secondary colors, the Itten circle shows the relationships between these colors, that is, it shows the colors that are obtained from the combination of the primary colors. The circle is divided into segments: the combination of colors found in the same segment of the chromatic disc generates a harmonious and balanced effect. Conversely, the combination of colors found on the opposite side of the chromatic disc (called complementary colors) determines a vivid and lively effect, because the complementary colors light up and enhance each other.

By visually ordering the primary and secondary colors, the Itten circle shows the relationships between these colors, that is, it shows the colors that are obtained from the combination of the primary colors. The circle is divided into segments: the combination of colors found in the same segment of the chromatic disc generates a harmonious and balanced effect. Conversely, the combination of colors found on the opposite side of the chromatic disc (called complementary colors) determines a vivid and lively effect, because the complementary colors light up and enhance each other.

HOW TO DRAW THE ITTEN CIRCLE

AWe thought we would give you an explanation on how to draw the Itten circle. In case you need help, here are our suggestions. First of all, get your hand on:

  • a compass;
  • a compass;
  • a rule;
  • paints or colored pencils;

Then with the compass draw a circumference of the size you want. Paying attention to keep the compass with the same opening, you can now draw 2 dodecagons. Attach the metal tip to the circle and make a mark on it. At this point you can continue by pointing the compass on the sign made previously in order to obtain another one in succession. Continue in this way and repeat the step described above until you obtain 6 points. Finally, with the help of the ruler, easily join the various points in sequence. You will then have obtained a regular hexegon.

HOW TO MATCH COLORS WITH THE ITTEN CIRCLE

Here is an interesting guide on how to match colors with the Itten circle. The fundamental rule of the circle, as seen above, is not to combine colors that are close to each other. In fact, the rule states that diametrically opposed ones must be combined: for example, yellow and purple, green and red. According to Itten's theory, black and white, considered by the scholar 'non-colors', can be combined with any color.

ToItten's theory of colors,it is appropriate to add a few small tricks on color combinations:

  • It is advisable not to wear clothing that has similar colors, even if of different shades;
  • It is advisable to choose the combination of similar patterns that have contrasting colors;
  • According to Itten, one of the colors that can be combined with everything is black. It can be combined with both bright and soft colors, except with browns and blues;
  • According to Itten, another of the colors that can be combined with everything is white: defined as the only color able to look good with any color, with every shade from pastel to bold ones;
  • Brown can be combined with warm colors or pastel shades;
  • Blue can be combined with various shades of green or even according to some trends with shades such as red.

ITTEN COLOR THEORY

Finally, before ending the article, we want to talk about Itten's color theory and the study of the contrast between colors, which is crucial for the Swiss painter. We speak of contrast when there are evident differences between two chromatic effects placed in comparison. If these differences are absolute, we speak of a contrast of opposites or of contrast of polarity..

Examples of these contrasts are represented by the effects:

  • big-small;
  • black-white;
  • cold-hot, which at their highest degree of opposition constitute an example of polarity contrast; By studying the most characteristic characters and chromatic effects, seven types of contrast can be established and they are:
    • contrast of pure colors;
    • contrast of quality;
    • chiaroscuro contrast;
    • contrast of complementary colors;
    • contrast of cold and hot;
    • contrast of quantity;
    • simultaneity contrast

One of the biggest problems remains that of choosing the best color combination for our garments, but after reading this in-depth analysis we are sure that you will no longer have future difficulties in matching colors and that some of you will have fun designing the circle of Itten by following our simple tips!