Triadic Color Wheel

Triadic color wheel with green, orange, and purple example.

Bar with Yellow, Orange & Dark Green Colors

This triadic color design utilizes yellow, orange, and a dark shade of green.

Room with Triadic Whites, Browns & Greys

This room has a soft triadic use of browns, greys, and whites to tie the decor together.

Living Room with Brown, Light Pink & Grey

This living room makes good use of triadic colors with brown, light pink, and grey.

Green Drapes with Yellow & Tan Couches

The triadic effect of these colors is seen in the light green drapes with yellow and tan couches.

Luxury Living Room with Beige, Blue & Grey

This luxurious living room has subtle triadic uses of beige, blue, and grey.

The triadic paint scheme is an interesting and potentially complex one that involves using a trio of colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel. Artists, painters, and interior designers are the most likely groups to utilize this scheme, as it offers a powerful visual contrast, while retaining a richness of color and balance. While triadic is not as contrasting as the complementary paint scheme, it appears to be more balanced and harmonious.

As a triadic paint scheme involves combining every fourth color on the color wheel, you get four different palette choices with three different colors in each. In total, you have three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), three secondary colors (orange, green, and violet), plus six tertiary colors, which are a mixture of the above.

Tips for Utilizing Triadic Paint Colors

It would be a shame if you ventured into a triadic paint scheme and didn’t get the best results, so follow the tips below to derive the greatest benefit:

1. Do not work with anything other than the three colors you select and their mixtures or the design may become over-complicated.

2. Always choose one dominant color for your palette.

3. To ensure the colors don’t clash, add in a small amount of the dominant color in each mixture, but keep it subtle.

4. For an extremely light color, start with white and slowly add your mixtures to it.

Triadic Paint Scheme Pros & Cons

Pros: Using the triadic paint scheme ensures that you retain harmony, while enjoying high contrast. There are a huge number of choices for your palette, so if you have time, experiment with as many as possible to revive your passion for painting and decorating.

Cons: It does not offer the same level of contrast as the complementary color scheme and most people will never learn the full extent of what is possible, due to the wide variety of palettes on offer.

See also:

Complementary Paint Schemes
Double Contrast Paint Schemes
Monochromatic Paint Schemes
Split Complementary Paint Schemes
Analogous Paint Schemes