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Color Theory. “color is a visual sensation perceived by the eye and the mind due to the activity and vibration of light”. General Characteristics. Color can create different moods. Color Symbolism: people associate colors with various concepts

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color theory

Color Theory

“color is a visual sensation perceived by the eye and the mind due to the activity and vibration of light”

general characteristics
General Characteristics
  • Color can create different moods.
  • Color Symbolism: people associate colors with various concepts
  • A person’s culture may influence their association.
colors of the spectrum
Colors of the Spectrum
  • Sir Isaac Newton (1666)
  • no one color predominates
  • colors always appear in the same order ROYGBIV
  • colors extend beyond the spectrum:
      • Infrared
      • Ultra-violet
  • “the process of taking in, as in a colored object which absorbs certain rays of light and reflects other rays giving the object its recognizable color”
  • “the return of light waves from surfaces; the bending or folding back of a part upon itself”
chromatic colors
Chromatic Colors
  • “a color having hue; a color of the visible spectrum (ROYGBIV)
  • the colors of the spectrum, plus those produced by their mixtures
achromatic colors
Achromatic Colors
  • “a color not found in the visible spectrum; a neutral color such as white, black, gray, and silver, and gold (for decorative purposes)”
  • the neutral colors
dimensions of color
Dimensions of Color
  • Hue
  • Value
  • Intensity
  • “the property of a color by which it is distinguished from other colors”
  • used only when speaking of the unadulterated chromatic color
  • refers to a pure color
primary hues
Primary Hues
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue
warm hues
Warm Hues
  • “a color which appears in the spectral band, characterized by long wave-lengths; a color which makes an object appear closer and larger; a color which reflects warmth”
cool hues
Cool Hues
  • “blue, green, purple (AKA violet) or any intermediate pigmentary hue in which they predominate; a receding hue which creates the illusion of distance from the observer; a color of short wave-lengths”
color wheel s division into warm cool hues
Color Wheel’s Division into Warm & Cool Hues
  • Complements: “directly opposite hues on the color wheel; any two pigmentary hues which, by their mixture in equal quantities, produce gray”
  • “the lightness or darkness of a hue”
  • every hue is capable of being darkened to a point above black
  • every hue is capable of being lightened to a point below white
  • (chroma)
  • “the brightness or dullness of a hue”
  • a pure color is at full intensity
  • hues at full intensity are brilliant
  • low intensities are soft and pleasant
pigment theory

Pigment Theory

The Prang System

  • “a coloring matter which can be applied to an object, when combined with some type of vehicle”
  • The earliest pigments came from various earths, minerals, or vegetable dyes.
chemical pigments
Chemical Pigments
  • Range is more narrow.
  • Fade or bleach.
  • Are not pure colors.
  • Are not stable.
  • Absorb light rays when they are mixed together.
classes of hues
Classes of Hues
  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Intermediate
  • Tertiary
primary hues1
Primary Hues
  • “three pigmentary hues; red, yellow, and blue which can be combined to make all other hues”
  • Cannot be produced by mixtures of other hues.
  • Equilateral triangle is the symbol used to locate the position of the primary hues on the color wheel.
secondary hues
Secondary Hues
  • “equal mixture of 2 primary pigmentary hues (orange, green, and purple)”
  • Lie midway between the 2 primary hues which produce it.
  • An inverted equilateral triangle depicts the relationship of the primary and secondary hues.
intermediate hues
Intermediate Hues
  • “a pigmentary hue produced by mixing in equal quantities, a primary hue with its adjacent secondary hue on the color wheel”
  • Are located midway between the primary and secondary hues which produce them.
  • There are 6 intermediate hues.
tertiary hues
Tertiary Hues
  • “the hue which results from the mixture of 2 secondary pigmentary hues or an unbalanced proportion of complements with the warm or cool hue predominating”
  • 2 families of colors: browns and slates
monochromatic hues
Monochromatic Hues
  • “variations of one hue; tints, tones and shades of one hue”
  • “ a hue into which various quantities of white are mixed”
  • As the quantity of white is increased, the hue is weakened.
  • Changes the value of a hue.
    • HUE + WHITE = TINT
  • “a hue mixed with either a small quantity of gray or the complement of the hue, resulting in dulling the hue”
  • Changes the intensity of the hue.
  • “ a hue into which various quantities of black are mixed; the darkened hue”
  • Changes the value of the hue.
Once white, black or gray (complement) is added to a hue, it is no longer a hue, it is a tint, a tone, or a shade.
analogous hues
Analogous Hues
  • “two or more hues which have the same hue in common”
  • Are adjacent to each other on the color wheel.
  • Contain the same hue.
color wheel
Color Wheel
  • “a circle in which the primary, secondary, and intermediate hues are arranged in orderly intervals”
  • “directly opposite hues on the color wheel”
  • Always involve a warm hue and a cool hue.
  • When mixed in equal parts they result in gray.
  • Are the greatest contrast in hues.
  • “(simultaneous contrast) any two hues seen together which modify each other in the direction of their complements”
after image
  • “psychological; a visual impression remaining after the stimulus has been removed”