For example, Lets say I pic a triadic color scheme of red, blue, and green.
Already, it depends. Three very different colors can be a lot to handle. One saturated tone each of red, blue and green could be nice for a toy site without a lot of small text to read, or for an Andy Warhol print, but it'd be an inappropriate overload for a bank.
Can I use a highly saturated blue and a lower saturated red?
It depends. Blue and red say patriotic to me - them's flag colors. I'd also be careful with a warmer (orangish) red and a bluegreen. Saturated colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel tend to vibrate when next to each other -- red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple. You don't want that vibration unless the vibration is the point, and even then be careful - it's distracting. Especially be careful with anything that's supposed to be legible.
Can I use a low value green and a high value blue?
Give it a try, and see? I'd probably want to tie them together in some way -- maybe add a touch of whatever seems like it would be opposite of both, to make them seem more related. I could see using green and blue, both softened with a touch of orange or yellow, with an accent of orange that's been toned down slightly with bluegreen. There are a lot of ways to go.
If I use a blue in two different saturations or values...is it really a separate color for the purposes of the color scheme?
I think you'd probably need to go easy on adding additional variables, if you've already got red and green in the same color scheme. Try it and see.
I think that the best way to get to know color is through experimentation. Start simply. Really simply. Don't start to by designing a layout you'll want to keep.
- Try using only black, white and shades of gray, and use that to map out a feeling of weight - the light and dark in your design.
- Then you could add a little texture, or change it to a monochrome - pick a hue (full strength color) and play with tints and shades of that one hue, in the same design. (Tint by adding white, shade by adding black)
- Then, you could try combining the monochromatic color design with shades of gray.
- Next, get comfortable with two colors next to each other on the color wheel - this is called an analogous color scheme - using the same method of starting with where you want the light and dark emphasis in your design.
- When you're happy with analogous, try adding a third color that's opposite the analogous two - the compliment of the analogous two. Any combo of the three works, but don't think of them as separate, think of them as being available to mix together and balance off of each other.
- Way down the block towards subtlety and complexity comes split complementary. Split complementary is when you use two that are next to each other on one side of the wheel, along with two that are next to each other on the other. Google for [Mary Cassatt split complimentary] or [Van Gogh split complimentary] and you'll find some nice examples.
These are just my opinions, with a little vocab mixed in.
Found this on color vibration
Quick color scheme examples, from art