Saturday, January 17, 2009

Color Basics in a Nutshell

Color Basics in a Nutshell
Definitions of terms as they relate to watercolor

Hue -- The name of a color, such as red, blue, yellow, green, orange, etc.

Intensity -- The strength, brightness, or purity of a color; its chroma.

Saturation -- The measure of brilliance or purity of a color.

Value -- The lightness or darkness of a color; pure colors will vary greatly in value.

Primary Colors are those hues that cannot be mixed from any other colors-- red, yellow, and blue. From these primaries, most other colors can be mixed. Secondary Colors are the resulting hues of mixing two prima ries in equal amounts. (R+Y =Orange, Y+B=Green, B+R=Purple)

Intermediate Colors are products of mixing one primary and a secondary. (R+O=Red-Orange, Y+O=Yellow-Orange, etc.)

Tertiary Colors are products of mixing two secondary colors. (O+G, O+P, G+P, etc)

Complementary Colors are two hues directly opposite each other on the color wheel. Complement to a primary color is the combination of other two primaries. Complement to Red is Green (Y+B), to Yellow is Purple (R+B), to Blue is Orange (R+Y). Neutral Hues are the results of combining all three primaries in various amounts, thus neutralizing the intensity and saturation of a hue. Combining a primary with its complement results in a neutral hue.

Temperature "The warmth or coolness of a color; also relative terms in comparison to other colors in context.
"Both red and yellow are commonly considered warm, while blue is unquestionably cool. More specifically, warm and cool colors are relative to where a color falls on the color wheel. The warmest color is red-orange and the coolest color is blue-green. Everything between those two points has a slightly warmer color on one side of it and a slightly cooler one on the other. Its neighbor is either warmer or cooler depending on the direction you go around the color wheel.
Using a split primary palette, we are working with a warm and a cool of each primary color.
All secondary hues are mixed from these carefully selected primary colors.

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