Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty is such a vibrant and colorful graphic novel that there are many wonderful examples of how hues interact with each other.
Hues are the specific place on the spectrum where the color is. In this example to the left Kalman utilizes complementary colors or hues in her portraits of past school teachers. Mr. Kafka has a green background and is wearing a black suit, and black goes with everything, and his brown hair (while not next to green on the color wheel) keeps the cool color scheme of the text as a whole. The same thing could be said for Mrs. Einstein, who wears a dark gray suit and has a cool blue background. Now Miss Covino and Miss Smalline both sport warm colored backgrounds and red suits that create an analogous color scheme, which is where hues that sit next to each other are used to build color schemes.
But the basic color theory that closely placed colors are analogous and that two colors opposite each other contrast isn’t the only way that Kalman uses color.
Kalman also utilizes various color characteristics to emphasis certain elements by contrasting colors. Take Miss Smalline for example. The background yellow color tinted, which means white was added to the color. This gives it the light buttery color that contrasts against the intensity of the orange hair. Her hair has high intensity meaning that neither black nor white was added since those colors would dull the orange and produce a low intensity color.
The entire image in itself uses each major component of the color wheel( save indigo and violet) making the whole page cohesive despite the contrasts between each individual teacher. It feels complete and is very visually pleasing because of the color choices.