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Colour Theory

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James Farrington

on 14 January 2015

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Transcript of Colour Theory

A colour circle, based on red, yellow and blue, is traditional in the field of art. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colours in 1666
Primary Colours: Red, yellow and blue
In traditional colour theory (used in paint and pigments), primary colours are the 3 pigment colours that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colours. All other colours are derived from these 3 hues
Secondary Colours: Green, orange and purple
These are the colours formed by mixing the primary colours.
Tertiary Colours: Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green
These are the colours formed by mixing a primary and a secondary colour. That's why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.
Colour Harmony
In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it's either boring or chaotic.
Colour harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order.
Formulas for Colour Harmony
Analogous colours are any three colours which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel, such as yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Usually one of the three colours predominates.
Complementary colours are any two colours which are directly opposite each other, such as red and green and red-purple and yellow-green. In the illustration above, there are several variations of yellow-green in the leaves and several variations of red-purple in the orchid. These opposing colours create maximum contrast and maximum stability.
Color Vision
Humans, apes, most old world monkeys, ground squirrels, and many species of fish, birds, and insects have well-developed color vision. However, it's worth noting that 7 or 8 percent of human males are relatively or completely deficient in color vision.

Class Task: Find using the internet the colour spectrums that are not visable to colour blind people.
Humans with the most common form of color-blindness and mammals with poor color vision are unable to differentiate between reds and greens. They see the world as a blend of blues, yellows, and greys.
Triadic colour scheme
A triadic color scheme uses colors that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel.

Triadic colour schemes tend to be quite vibrant, even if you use pale or unsaturated versions of your hues.

To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colours should be carefully balanced - let one color dominate and use the two others for accent.
Square colour scheme
The square colour scheme is similar to the rectangle, but with all four colours spaced evenly around the colour circle.

Square colour schemes works best if you let one colour be dominant.

You should also pay attention to the balance between warm and cool colours in your design.
Class Task
1. Define hue:
2. Define value:
3. Define saturation:
4. How many colors are available on our computers?
5. Define secondary color:
6. Define tertiary color:
7. Define complementary colors:
8. What are the primary colors in Photoshop?
9. What are the secondary colors in Photoshop?
10. Define subtractive color model:
11. Define additive color model:
12. Is RGB additive or subtractive?
13. Is CMYK additive or subtractive?
14. What is the RGB color model used for?
15. What is the CYYK color model used for?
16. Define analogous colors:
17. Define tint:
18. Define shade:
19. Define neutral:
20. What can be said in general about warm colors?
21. What can be said in general about cool colors?
22. Which color is associated with stability?
23. Which color symbolizes royalty?
24. Which is the color of cleanliness?
25. Which color symbolism freshness?
26. Which colors are associated with joy?
27. Which color symbolizes passion and danger?
Colour Scheme
Web Platform
Monochromatic Colour
Humans with the most common for of colour-blindness and mammals with poor colour vision are unable to differentiate between reds and greens. They will see the world as a blend of blues, yellows and grays.
Colours and invoked Feeling

"... color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination. There are also definitions (or categories) of colors based on the color wheel: primary color, secondary color and tertiary color."

Taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_theory
Wiki Definition
Learning Outcomes
• You will be able to identify Primary, Secondary, Tertiary colours.

• You will be able to identify common colour-blindness schemes

• You will be able to demonstrate understanding of Emotions and feelings created by colours.
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