Simultaneous contrast: the essence and the manifestation

the Color scheme is actively participating in a full life. Surrounding paint are closely connected with our mood and perception. Could play with different shades allows you to create a masterpiece artwork, and an exclusive array of clothes. In this article we will talk about simultaneous contrast and its impact on different spheres of creative activity.


the combination of achromatic colors with colorful solid shades, under certain conditions, loss of stability second. However, this phenomenon occurs at the level of human perception. Simultaneous contrast – imagination of non-existent shade, which is generated while making eye contact with any color. At this point, the human brain requires what is the basis of harmony of colors. This extra colors and they appear before the eyes of a person.
Before discussing this phenomenon in detail, let us consider the principles of interaction of dyes and principal of contrasts.

color scheme

In our lives all natural, so outstanding people are able to create their own theories obeying certain rules. Based on the existing principles of Swiss artist Johannes Itten founded the science of properties of colors.
Colors which cannot be obtained by mixing the primary pigments are called achromatic. In the Greek language this word has the meaning "colorless". Although this assessment can only give a white color, this group includes black and all the visible tones of grey.
Chromatic are perceived bright colors and original shades, are obtained by their combinations. A multi-faceted set of features allowed to form an inexhaustible spectrum of colors.
So, famous the artist has combined 12 chromatic colors, arranging them in a circle. Diametrically to each is his only extra tone.
it is an Indisputable fact that red, yellow and blue are the main colors, with the participation of which all others are formed. Changing the proportions of their pigments, it is possible to achieve a very rich Arsenal of various colors.
Mix two primary colors gives you the opportunity to form secondary colors: orange, purple and green. To get orange, you need to bring to uniformity of yellow and red. When merging blue and yellow comes green, blue and red-purple.
Tertiary color is obtained by mixing main and secondary.
Theory I. Itten used by many professionals because it is easy and accessible. To clarify the full picture view, what are the principles of work, who have to deal with paint.

Types of contrasts

There are several basic rules used by the designers, stylists, makeup artists, designers and other professionals. Contrasts are distinguished in the following oppositions:
  • colors;
  • more colors,
  • of simultaneity, i.e.;
  • size color forms;
  • opposites of dark and light;
  • warm and cold colors;
  • contrast at a concentration of colors.
to better understand the manifestation of simultaneous contrast, consider the properties of complementary colors because they are the Foundation of colorful harmony.

Comparison of additional colors

Two of pigment that collectively lose their color features and give a gray tone, are supplementary. Being close to each other, they usually are exciting.
In the demonstration I. Itten, red is in the direction to green, blue to orange, yellow to purple. The rest of the shades also have a pair and are secondary colors. Blue-violet is opposite yellow-orange, red-violet-yellow-green and red-orange-blue-green.
Diametrically the location of these colors in a classic round allows the masters to quickly navigate. The combination of the additional colors look very bright.

Manifestation of simultaneous contrast

Since simultaneously occurring colors do not actually exist, they cannot capture, e.g., photograph or even sketching. This is because the vibration of the color instantly changed, depending on how long a person looks at the object. Feeling the vibrations gradually lead away from objective reality and immersed in the desired dimension.
As already mentioned, often simultaneous contrast occurs at a combination of grey shades with chromatic. However, this is not always the case. Similar phenomena manifest themselves in simultaneous perception of colors that are not considered additional. In this case, both tones lose their identity and acquire other colors. At the same time they compete among themselves, trying to take additional tint your “opponent”.
I Wonder is there simultaneous contrast in clothing. It can be used to emphasize the color of eyes or hair. But it is possible to cause the opposite result. If a woman has very blond hair, red blouse can give them a greenish hue.
let us Consider some examples of simultaneous contrast.
If a large plane is blue with a black square inside to put a thin sheet of white paper, and then to stare at him, in the end, to show a barely noticeable orange tint. On orange background square will give blue. On the turquoise plane of the square will appear orange-red and red-orange becomes turquoise.
Following example. Take any 6 colors from the palette I. Itten, then in each one place a small geometric figures, calm shade of gray corresponding to the saturation of basic colors. To observe in each case the occurrence of additional tones, it is necessary to concentrate on just one figure. To get simultaneous contrast, the rest should be closed. Closer will be presented to the eyes of the leaf, the more expressive will manifest extra touch. The effect of synchronization will increase as the duration of visual perception.
Another example. On Burgundy (red and purple) background placed 3 gray rectangles of different colours. In first figure mixed with a yellow-green color (optional) that are synchronized to the action. The second added touch of Burgundy color, so it eliminates the effect of simultaneity, i.e.. Neutral rectangle shows the same behavior as described in the previous examples.
Awareness in this area helps artists to avoid undesirable contrasts and to create them visible if necessary.


the words of the critic NN. N. Volkova becomes clear that the illusion colors are caused by only physical manifestations of the light fluxes. Most likely, they felt because of the laws that are attached to the eye, appropriate the fullness of the color wheel and the natural harmony.
Simultaneous contrast in painting – quite common. French artist R. Delaunay was very attracted by the idea of realization of such combinations. His efforts were intended to use simultaneous contrast to create more vivid images and evoke positive feelings in viewers.
artist's Works illustrate how through play with paints, you can achieve the effect of apparent rotation. This is proof that works of art are born with the disclosure of the secrets of the interaction of various colors.
“Simultaneous window” is a wonderful work of R. Delaunay. Live picture generates a lot of feelings. You can see how the breeze is blowing, slightly shaking the window frame, barely off the curtains, and twinkle lights of the city.
I would Like to mention that with his work the artist is obliged to work of the French chemist Michel eugène Sevres. In this work it is described the technology for dyeing fabrics. These principles uses modern printing and textile industry.


Furnished room, designers can use one of the types of contrasts. Sometimes a certain style can be diluted in any element of the other. Looks interesting classic bedroom in combination with a few colourful chairs.
Simultaneous contrast in the interior is very popular. Creating chromatic compositions brings a mysterious charm. The mutual exclusion of colors encourages the search for additional, and the room seems to be alive.


Simultaneous contrast in the clothes of designers creates the impression of nobility and aristocracy. Ensembles with such combinations look pretty rich.
How the masters use color wheel to create the simultaneous illusion of tones? First, determine the main color, and then additional notes. On both sides of the second are the colors through which get a chic contrast. To the main color, you select one of them. For example, yellow-green goes red or purple.
Examples of simultaneous contrast in dress:
  • light Green blouse with purple jeans. The third color should be neutral. Usually it is presented in the form of bags or shoes.
  • Burgundy skirt white blouse, black shoes.
  • a Red shirt with a turquoise-grey bag and grey pants.
  • turquoise blouse with a red skirt and black shoes.
  • Yellow-orange shirt with purple bag, dark gray pants and black shoes.
Using the above rules, it would be wise to order clothes from the professionals. This will allow you to pre-choose any color and pick him relevant. In these clothes you will look bright and interesting.


Simultaneous contrast – mysterious and interesting manifestation which makes the world more bright and cheerful. It enriches the available spectrum of colors with many shades of non-existent. Without them our life would be boring.