Flip-Over Phenomena

Flip-Over Phenomena is Actually “Simultaneous Contrast”

How Colors Affect and Alter Each Other

Two colors, side by side, interact with one another and change our perception accordingly—the effect of this interaction is called simultaneous contrast. Since we rarely see colors in isolation, simultaneous contrast affects our sense of the color that we see. (See Flip-over phenomena page 44 in Science of Personal Dress Complete Study  which shows how the eye will flip color over and exaggerate opposites instead of attracting like colors.)  Newtons Color Wheel Simultaneous ContrastSimultaneous contrast is most intense when the two colors are complementary.   Complementary colors are pairs of colors, diametrically opposite on a color circle: as seen in Newton’s color circle; red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple.

Artists have always explored the effects of juxtaposing complementary colors, even without understanding it in neurophysiologic terms. Our sensation is the most intense where two extremes are juxtaposed.  Christmas colors are bright because red and green are complementary.  Orange earth looks brilliant against blue skies, and costumes are more alive and dramatic utilizing complementary colors together. Artists know that if they put touches of a color’s complementary color next to it for accent, paintings spark and come alive. A touch of complementary color in a tie or scarf can heighten the look and add a dash of interest to the attire. This is something clothiers should know and can use to great benefit.




1 Comment

  1. Irenee Riter
    Irenee Riter03-30-2015

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