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The Psychology of Color: How To Color Scheme

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 2:08 PM
.::I remember there was something on Tumblr that spoke of this, and I felt it was important to define here. Color scheme is very important to character design. The colors portrayed on a character can reflect heavily on their personality or give an indication of their personality. This goes for all OC's in general, not just Hetalia OC's. Therefore, I'm going to be splitting this journal between Hetalia OC's and other genre OC's.
First, lets start for basic color scheme.

Hair, Eyes, and Skin

When creating your OC, be sure that all aspects fit with their ethnicity [race/nationality]. Typically, darker skinned characters have dark hair. Now, this isn't saying that all dark skinned OC's have to have dark hair, however, this is the basis for Hetalia OC's. In brief: make sure the skin and hair fit if the OC is representing a province/state/city/country. This also goes for the eyes! Do the eyes [if a Hetalia OC] represent something? I.E. Diverse forest ecosystem=green or something or other? That may be acceptable with Latin and Middle Eastern OC's. Shades of greens and browns are varied over there because of different influences. Here's an example of green Middle Eastern Eyes:

But keep in mind that most have dark brown eyes. Moreover, it is highly disapproved of if you give your character extremely light hair and skin pigment  if they represent a darker toned country. It doesn't matter if they were colonized, depict them as their actual people and ethnicity look. An arian/albino Africa or Latin America OC is unacceptable, nor is a blazing blonde one with sky blue eyes that contradict what people from that country actually look like.
And above all, avoid Heterochromia iridum with neko ears.
This brings us to our next topic of color schemes: two toned eyes.

Two Toned Eyes

The most common [and poorly portrayed] example of this is Heterochromia iridum. Heterochromia is a result of the relative excess or lack of melanin (a pigment). It may be inherited, or caused by genetic mosaicism, chimerism, disease, or injury. This does not go to say that you can validly say your APH OC has two toned eyes because of their colonizers. You don't gain eye colors by meeting people. In humans, usually, an excess of melanin indicates hyperplasia of the iris tissues, whereas a lack of melanin indicates hypoplasia. Moreover one eye tends to be weaker than the other. Acquired heterochromia [which most people try to use to validate their OC having two toned eyes] can be caused by injury, inflammation that caused mass scarring, or a tumor.
There are variations of Heterochromia.
One, when the iris is abnormally darker, is characterized by injury. Blunt truama to the eye will not only impare it, but darken the pigment. Here are some variants of that.

:bulletblue:Deposition of material Siderosis – iron deposition within ocular tissues due to a penetrating injury and a retained iron-containing, intraocular foreign body.

:bulletblue: Hemosiderosis – long standing hyphema (blood in the anterior chamber) following blunt trauma to the eye may lead to iron deposition from blood products

:bulletblue:Certain eyedrops – prostaglandin analogues (latanoprost, isopropyl unoprostone, travoprost, and bimatoprost) are used topically to lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients. A concentric heterochromia has developed in some patients applying these drugs. The stroma around the iris sphincter muscle becomes darker than the peripheral stroma. A stimulation of melanin synthesis within iris melanocytes has been postulated.

:bulletblue: Neoplasm – Nevi and melanomatous tumors.

:bulletblue:Iridocorneal endothelium syndrome

:bulletblue: Iris ectropion syndrome

There are also cases were one iris is lighter than the other. Though it is subtle and occurs naturally, it can actually develope over time due to diseases like Duane syndrome and Leukemia.
Central Heterochromia is actually more common than either of those two in modern life.
Here's an example of Central Heterochromia:

So, in brief, heterochromia in Hetalia OC's is not advised in the slightest, and Heterochromia in OC's of other fandoms should be done carefully. Neon green and red eyes or purple and pink would be very tacky and unacceptable.
Now, on to clothing colors!

Clothing Colors and Proper use of Personality Schemes

If your OC is a Hetalian, it is important to have an accurate depiction of what people in that country wear, both for casual and traditional clothing. Use colors that are commonly used for those clothes, but also pay a key amount of attention to how the colors befit your characters. You must be wondering how to do this, so let me explain the best I can.
Positive colors are best on a more spirited and vibrant country, it reflects on their personality. Also, each color and its various shades have particular meanings that they portray.  However, some have "double standards". For example:

"Positive" Colors:
Orange and Orange shades- Childlike, Vibrant, Energetic, 'Happy', Social, loud, frivolous.

Red and Red shades- Mature, strong, passionate, aggressive, temperamental, warlike, dangerous, courageous.

Pinks and Pink shade- Playful, flirty, guady, cozy, wild, fragile, sweet, tender.

Greens and Green Shades- Young, natural, healthy, energetic, soothing, balanced, restful.

Blues and Blue Shades- Faithful, water, coolness, dreamy, soft, faithful, sophisticated, confident, cold, distant.

Light Browns and Creamy Shades- Woodsy, Exotic, welcoming, rustic.

Earthy Browns- Delicious, warm, wholesome, earthy

Golds-Rich, Expensive, royal, guady.

Yellow and Yellow shades-Hospitible, Summer, energetic, cowardly, betrayal, hazardous.

Light Purple and Pale Purple Shades- Wistful, thoughtful, peaceful, romantic, faciful.

Now, for 'negetive' colors. Negetive colors are actually values, which are blacks and greys.

Negetive Colors [Values]

Black-Loss, Mystery, Desctruction, misery, death, mourning, bold, classic, strong, invulnerable.

Greys- Sleek, classy, dust, ash, destruction, death, corpses, modern, dull, tired, relaxed.

Now that we know some of the basics of colors and their interpretations, lets start on creating a color scheme.

Color Schemes

With creating a color scheme for a character, you must focus on which colors not only match the characters personality, but their general appearence and complexion as well. Neon pink and orange with green hair is scalding to the eyes, so try and keep it 'simple'. By simple, I mean choose colors that are near eachother in the color spectrum. For those that read Homestuck, you'll get this color process easily, think of it as the hemospectrum.
Typically, colors that share the same base color [i.e. Red==>Deep Red, Blue==>Pale Blue] go well together. Using colors of the same base with different saturation levels typically leads to good out-comes for a color scheme.
Here's one using colors of the same base:

When you have the process of creating schemes from a singular base color, start mixing and matching! Use different colors at different saturations and values to create vibrant and complementary schemes. Here are some examples:

Now, as for "conflicting colors" [colors that clash far too much], they can meld well together when toned/watered down from their base form. For example, red and blue do not go well together unless they are done in different hues. Here's a very basic example:

You see, colors that typically clash are usually located across from each other on the color wheel. When these colors are 'toned down', they complement each other beautifully. Here's a little diagram so you get what I mean:

Analogous colors tend to blend into each other gradually at different saturations. The use of Analogous colors is recommended with scenery and backgrounds especially.
Ah, I hope this guide helped somewhat. Here are some colors for you to start testing out your color scheme skills on:


So I felt like making a small 'guide' again, this time addressing the common misuse of colors that do not flow well. One must mix conflicting colors right! Once you know how to do such properly, you can shade/hue your art with reds, teals, and purples. uwu
Hope this helped!

marimariakutsu Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
THank you for sharing this :meow:
UndeadMause Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i just kind of scribble on another peice of paper until the color seems right and then yeah i did art!
Ask-Xian Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
(( this was a fabulous color guide my gawd o 7 o

i learned so much from this it's just so asdfghjkl;

this was amazing and incredible and just plan awesome u v u

thank you for enlightening me
//bows and rolls away ))
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