Colour, shape, texture, and space are the raw materials with which floral designers work. A basic understanding of how these elements affect a design is essential to creating satisfying arrangements. Colour is the most important element of design and must be carefully chosen to create visually appealing arrangements.
The four basic color schemes used in floral design are those that have been proven to be most pleasing to the human eye:
- Monochromatic: results from using various intensities of only one colour.
- Complementary: uses colours (such as blue and orange) that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. This scheme providesthe highest possible contrast.
- Adjacent: use of three adjacent colours creates particularly vibrant combinations.
- Triadic: intensities of three colours equidistant apart must be chosen with care to make this scheme work well.
In addition to hue (actual colour), the effect of value (dark and light)
must be kept in mind. Darker shades will appear to recede, while
lighter tints of the colours will seem closer.
Two good investments for anyone seriously interested in Flower arranging are a full colour wheel and a book on colour theory which will include much more detailed information than given here.
- SHAPE - refers to both the overall shape of the arrangement, which is determined by its style, and the forms of the Flowers and foliage included in it. The main point to remember is that lack of variety results in monotony and too many different shapes create confusion.
- TEXTURE - is primarily tactile but can also be discerned visually. We see the differences between rough and smooth, coarse and fine, soft and hard - all contrasts that provide interest in a design.
- SPACE - properly planned within an arrangement, helps to isolate its features and lets us appreciate them before our eyes move on. Itprovides (in effect) a series of necessary visual resting places.