Colorswhat are complementary colors?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the basic color wheel contains only the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, the red and blue are complementary as they are opposite each other. However there are also other color wheels that contain shades and hues of these primary colors.  In the case in which the shades and hues are used, the complementary colors are those that are opposite each other such as reds and greens, oranges and blues.


Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

 Complimentary colors are shades/hues that are opposite from each other on the color wheel.  For example, green and red are complimentary colors, as well as orange and blue, yellow and purple.

nmmoritz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yellow and Purple

Green and Red

Blue and Orange

These colors are opposite of each other on a color wheel.

arrellbelle | Student

Complementary colors is an example of color theories/harmonies. Complementary colors are essentially derived from the color wheel of red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and blue. They are basically colors opposite of each other on the color wheel. Popular examples of complementary colors include red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple.

pororohandy | Student

The complementary colors are red and blue.

loraaa | Student

The complementary colors are red and blue.

etotheeyepi | Student

In color theory, two colors are called complementary if, when mixed in the proper proportion, they produce a neutral color (grey, white, or black).


When one stares at a single color (red for example) for a sustained period of time (roughly thirty seconds to a minute), then looks at a white surface, an afterimage of the complementary color (in this case cyan) will appear.

My computer printer's printer has three colors of ink, cyan, magenta, and yellow. The complementary colors are red, green, and blue.

Completmentary colors applied: