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Intro to Color Theory

Color theory for Painting 1 (grades 9-12)
by

Emily Howard

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of Intro to Color Theory

INTRO TO COLOR THEORY
Properties of Color
Hue
Value
Intensity
How do we see color?
The human eye and brain together translate light into color. The retina, which is located on the back of your eyeball, is full of millions of light-sensitive cells shaped like rods and cones. These process the light into nerve impulses, which are passed on to the brain via the optic nerve.
the lightness or darkness of a color
the brightness or dullness of a color
pure color - one without tint, tone, or shade.
The Color Wheel
The color wheel was invented when Sir Isaac Newton bent the color spectrum into a circle in 1666. He did this when he was 23 years old, and essentially "grounded" in his room (not because he misbehaved, but to keep himself safe from the plague).
Complementary
Color Triad
Analogous
Split Complementary
Neutral
Monochromatic
Color Schemes
are a plan for organizing color.
Warm Colors
Cool Colors
We still use the color wheel today as a tool for understanding color relationships and to help us create harmonious color schemes.
Primary & Secondary Colors
Tertiary / Intermediate Colors
reds
yellows
oranges
blues
greens
violets
primary + primary = secondary
primary + secondary = tertiary
different values
of the same color
Tint
Tone
Shade
a color + white
a color + grey
a color + black
Desaturate
a color + its complement
You can think of neutral colors as "earth tones." They include: black, grey, white, and brown.
colors directly across from each other on the color wheel.
Example:
red & green
3 colors directly next to each other on the color wheel.
Example:
blue-green, green & yellow-green
Do you see an analogous color scheme here?
red-violet, violet & blue-violet
uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.
Example:
green, orange & violet
"I see colors like you hear jet planes"
-dave eggers
a color + the 2 colors on either side of its complement.
Example:
green, red-violet
& red-orange
The Psychology of Color
Color is a powerful communication tool that can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause psychological reactions.
Our feelings about color are often deeply personal and rooted in our own experiences or cultures. For example, while the color white is used in many Western countries to represent purity and innocence, it is seen as a symbol of mourning in many Eastern countries.
While perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, there are some color effects that have universal meaning.
The lenses in our eyes function like the lens of a camera, opening and closing to allow light to pass through.

In the darkness, your pupil dialates (or expands) to allow more light in. In bright light, the pupil shrinks to protect the eye.
The Eye as a Camera
RODS
CONES
The Biology of Sight
Our pupils also dialate when we see something that is pleasurable to us.
We have only ONE kind of rod.
We have THREE kinds of cones.
One kind perceives
RED
One kind perceives
BLUE
One kind perceives
GREEN
.
Light is a
wave
.

The
length
of the wave determines what colors we see.
Rods are used for seeing
in
low-light
conditions.
Full transcript