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Tone is the lightness and darkness of a colour.

The tone is affected by two parts – the value, the amount of black or white it contains and the intensity/saturation, the amount of color it contains. The combination of these produces tone.

The ability to understand tone will be the difference between a dull and boring scheme and a great well-balanced pleasing scheme.

Below is a red tonal scheme I painted with Gouche for one of my assignments (it has not been marked yet…so fingers crossed!). I started with square 6 and painted in primary red, I then added black (to the squares on the right) and white (to the squares on the left).


Below are some examples of interiors which have used various tones within the red tonal scheme…


Glowing combination of pink & red. Wish I could sit on that table…would be my dream to create this scene!

(Image via Elements of Style)

This is from Australian Graham Moss’s fabulous home. The use of various dark tones of red, creates a moody and mysterious aspect.

(Image via Busy Being Fabulous)

(Image via Kelta)