Two Color Theory Tips for Choosing Mat Boards

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How do you choose a mat board color for a painting or photograph? Do you think about the artwork's dominant tones, the furnishings in the room, or the amount of natural light? The next time you select colors for framing and hanging artwork, consider the psychology of color and how the hue will impact your life at home.  Below are two tips on using color theory to choose the right matboard color. We've also included an infographic about the psychology of color and how to use color well in your home.

Tip #1  Know The Effects of Each Color

It is important to consider the psychological and sometimes physical effects colors can have before decorating your home. The science behind color psychology involves how our eyes process light waves. Green is one of the easiest colors for our eyes and minds to process and can therefore have a calming effect on the viewer. Bright yellow, however, is a difficult color to process and can cause eye fatigue and general irritation. Red is a stimulating color and has been reported to increase viewer's heart rates  and appetites! Before matting and hanging a large piece of artwork, familiarize yourself with each color and how it will make you feel.

Tip #2  Use Complementary Combinations

color wheel When combining two shades, use analogous or complementary colors. Looking at the color wheel to the left, choose three consecutive colors in a row.  These three are analogous colors. When working with three analogous shades, it's best to single out one color to be most dominant. Complementary colors are opposite to one another on the color wheel. So if your artwork is mainly deep blue, and you want to choose a complementary matboard color, then go for a yellow or gold tone. You can always accent a bright or colorful picture with a more neutral mat board. White mat boards will complement any color of artwork, while gray mats will look good with cooler colors and beige earth tones will look good with warmer colors. The infographic below shares even more information about the psychology of color. Psychology of Color [Infographic]
Infographic credit:  NowSourcing, Inc Color wheel credit: Robson#

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  • Love this representation of color theory!

    Rosanne on

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