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I have 3 colors, I need to find a 4th that is complementary of these three:

#d9bba3
#72737b
#b0aca8

I have so far found #d7d6db but it is only my guess, not based on any tool, is there a way to find a common complementary color? Do they have one in common?

enter image description here

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    Please be advised that in colour theory, a colour only has one complementary colour: its exact opposite. Examples are #00ffff : #ff0000 and #33aa77 : #cc5588. What you are asking for is a pleasing addition to an existing colour scheme, which is something completely different, and also way less exact. – Vincent Dec 11 '17 at 8:37
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    @Vincent a few years ago, I was using an online tool that was able to generate just what you are saying, starting from one color. I though it was complementary colors, thank you for clarification! I could not find that tool again :( but one similar is easyrgb.com/en/create.php not really sure if it is the same to be honest. – S. Redrum Dec 11 '17 at 9:42
  • Two of these colors are very close to neutral gray. You can pick a complementary color for the top one and it should be alright. (A pretty random experiment worked for me: I swapped its R and B components, which happened to result in a pleasant pastel blue.) – Jongware Dec 11 '17 at 11:02
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Kuler is a great tool online for color schemes, and you can easily find complements to any value.

Or in Photoshop you can try this:

Open your Color Picker and select #d9bba3 for example.

Go to the H value (27°), add 180° (for 207°) - there is your complementary color, #a3c0d9

If the Hue value is above 180° then subtract 180° instead:

207° - 180 = 27° (you are working within 360°).

If your colors were less friendly than this example you could try this with all of them to get a better idea of the range you are looking in.

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  • I tried that but a background colored #d9bba3 with text #a3c0d9 is really hard to read, is it supposed to be like this as complementary? – S. Redrum Dec 11 '17 at 16:38
  • Yes. A complementary color is directly opposite the base color in the color spectrum. If you increase the S value (saturation) it contrasts much better as a darker shade (75% pops a lot more than the 25% it started at) but this method is always going to be relative to your base color (which is also fairly desaturated in this example). If you have Illustrator you could peruse the color guide & various swatch libraries, and if not, try kuler as it will always give you additional colors. Sorry I dont know what your previous tool was but I hope this helps. – Chris Bolseng Dec 11 '17 at 16:56
  • Kuler does not use a "standard" color wheel, so the complementary color it gives is not "standard". Is it an interesting tool? Yes, but not standard. n_n – Rafael Dec 11 '17 at 17:50
  • Thanks. ^^ trying to help someone solve for their own work, not for standards or theory. ;) – Chris Bolseng Dec 11 '17 at 18:30
  • I am spamming my answer to another question :op Take a look at the appendix of this answer: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/85852/… – Rafael Dec 11 '17 at 18:53
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Color is a complex issue.

Here is an answer I wrote to confuse you more: Is there a standard for color wheels?

So you need to choose which method to use.

Be careful on which color model you use, for example, there are some color tools online that do not use a standard color wheel (as you can read in the other post)

Try to use one RGB+CMYK one or as I call it RCGMBY one.

But also remember that color has three dimensions, so it is a solid, not a flat wheel.

As you used the tag Photoshop, here are two methods (among several others).

Open the image I prepared for you and press Ctrl+U or go to Adjustments>Hue/Saturation

And move the H slider +180. This will give you the complementary on the same plane. (Spanish class! Tono = Hue)

enter image description here

Or simply inverse the image. Here I am using curves:

enter image description here

This will give you the complementary in 3D, in a solid.


If you are looking for a color scheme, you can drop the two gray images. They are simply gray, and focus only in the blue.

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  • Hi, I'm working in CMYK with FOGRA39 I think this is why Kuler was giving different values than adding/subtracting 180 ;) – S. Redrum Dec 12 '17 at 19:10

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