# color schemes & wheel

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Color Theory: Schemes and Color Wheel

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color theory: color schemes & traditional color wheel

ART 251

Newtons error was trusting math over the sensations of his eye.

-Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), poet and author of Faust, published Theory of Colours in 1810. As a color theorist, he was more interested in how we perceive color.

Basic Color Wheel

but it is flawed!

Color Bias Wheel

How to use the Color Bias Wheel

to mix colors...

What happens when you mix complementary colors?

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What happens when you mix complementary colors?

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= a neutral grey or brown

Color Bias Wheel

Make brightest purple

Make duller purple because some blue and o r ange a re mixed

M a k e d u l l e s t purple, because blue is mixed

with orange and red is mixed with green.

Understand this color wheel & you

will be more successful in color

mixing!

Ittens Color Wheel

Ewald Hering (1834-1918)

The 3 Properties of Color

Hue Value

Intensity

Properties of Color

HUE

VALUE

INTENSITY (or saturation)

(Hate Videogames Immensely)

Properties of Color

HUE - the name of the color, the part of the color spectrum that the color belongs to: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or violet.

There is no pure blue.

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If colored paints were actually pure color- every time any two pure colors of paint were mixed you would get black.

The bits of blue in the blue paint would absorb the red and yellow light.

The bits of yellow paint would absorb the red and blue light.

No light would escape from the paint, and youd see a perfectly black surface.

Properties of Color

V A L U E - l ightness or darkness of the hue.

Mark Rothko,

Untitled (Black on Gray),

1969/1970.

MUNSELL VALUES

Inherent Value: Normal hues have different values.

Grayscale Chart

Low Key

High Key

7-8

6

3

4-5

2-3

1

3

3

Properties of Color

VALUElightness or darkness of the hue.

Painting with a limited number of values

David Hockney, Mist, 1973. From The Weather Series.

Lithograph, 37 X 32 in.

Painting with a limited number of values

Properties of Color

INTENSITYThe brightness of a color. Not to be confused with lightness, which is value.

Also called chroma or saturation.

Adding a colors complement wi l l make that color LESS INTENSE.

Phillip Otto Runge

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1962.

Low intensity painting.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 16 1968

Contrast in intensity.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 54 1972

Color Schemes or Systems

A h a r m o n y o r c o m b i n a t i o n o f particular colors based on the color wheel.

Color Schemes

Monochromatic: The use of just one hue in an image. (You can use black and white to add variety though.)

Mark Tansey. Forward Retreat. 1986. Oil on canvas, 7 10 x 9 8 (2.4 x 2.9 m). Collection of Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa

Monica, California. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York.

Color Schemes Warm Color Scheme:

Red

Orange

Yellow

Represents Fire,

Sunlight

Implies Happy

energy

An artist many use

warm and cool color relationships to create depth and volume.

It can also create a feeling of light.

Chicago History Museum. Childe Hassam. The Breakfast Room, Winter Morning. 1911. Oil on canvas. Worcester

Art Museum, Massachusetts/The Bridgeman Art Library.

Cool Color Scheme:

Blue

Green

Purple

Cool colors recede

Represents Sky,

Water, Grass, Plants

Depression, Night

Archibald J. Motley Jr. Getting Religion. 1948. Oil on canvas, 2 7 7/8 x 3 3 1/4. Collection Archie Motley and Valerie Gerrard Browne, Evanston,

Illinois. Chicago History Museum.

Color Schemes

Complementary Color Scheme: Opposite on color wheel

Red-Green,

Blue-Orange,

Yellow-Purple

Tip:

Placing 2 complimentary

colors side by side creates a brighter image.

Mixing 2 complimentary colors creates gray

Color Schemes

A n a l o g o u s C o l o r Scheme:

A picture that uses seve r a l (o f ten 3 ) colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel.

Color Schemes

Split Complementar y Color Scheme:

An even w ider r ange o f possibilities. Rather than pair colors of that are in opposite positions on the color wheel, the ar tist completes the scheme using the two colors on either side of one of the complements.

Color Schemes

D o u b l e - S p l i t Comp lementa r y Co lo r Scheme:

Rather than pair colors of that are in opposite positions on the color wheel, the artist completes the scheme using the two colors on either side of the two complements.

Color Schemes

A triadic color scheme uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.

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

To use a tr iadic harmony successfully, the colors should be carefully balanced - let one color dominate and use the two others for accent.

Color Schemes

The rectangle or tetradic color scheme uses four colors arranged into two complementary pairs.

This r ich color scheme offers plenty of possibilities for variation.

Tetradic color schemes works best if you let one color be dominant.

Yo u s h o u l d a l s o p ay attention to the balance between warm and cool colors in your design.

Color Schemes

Uses four colors arranged into two complementary pairs.

This r ich color scheme offers plenty of possibilities for variation.

Tetradic color schemes works best if you let one color be dominant.

Yo u s h o u l d a l s o p ay attention to the balance between warm and cool colors in your design.

Color Schemes

Chromatic Grays:

A chromatic gray is made from a mixture of color, rather than a simple blend of black and white.The result is both subtle and vibrant.

In The Magpie, the grays

vary widely.

This is not a dark, sullen

winter day; through the use of chromatic grays, Claude Monet makes the warm l ight an transparent shadows sparkle in the crisp air.

Color Schemes

Earth Colors:

Earth colors, including raw

sienna and burnt sienna, raw and burnt umber and yellow ochre, are made literally from pigments found in the soil.

G e n e r a l l y w a r m i n temperature, when used together they create a type of analogous harmony.

Color Schemes

Andrew Wyeth, Sea Boots, 1976.

Planning Color Schemes

The use of deliberate color schemes is most common in interiors, posters, and packaging.

But know ing the se

harmonies can help both painters and designers consciously to plan the visual effects they want a finished piece to have.

Jan Vermeer. Girl with a Pearl Earring. c. 1665-1666. Oil on

canvas, 1 5 1/2 x 1 3 3/8 (44.5 x 39 cm). Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague.

U n e x p e c t e d Combinations

C o l o r D i s c o r d : opposite of color harmony.

Can be disturbing.

They do not balance

each other.

Mild discord can be

e x c i t i n g o r e ye -catching.

Wolf Kahn. Color/Tree Symphony. 1994. Oil on canvas, 4 3 1/2 x 4x 8 1/2. Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York. Art Estate of Wolf Kahn/Licensed by VAGA, New York,

New York.

Color Discord

Colors in Conflict

Certain color parings are

almost difficult to look at

Our eyes exper ience

conflict trying to look at them

They look as though they are vibrating

Vibrating Colors: Colors that create a flickering effect at their border. This effect is usually dependent o n a n e q u a l v a l u e relationship and strong hue contrast

Annie Mae Young. Quilt. c. 1965. Cotton stiff material: corduroy sheeting, polyester dress and pants material, wool.

Color Discord

Color Use

There are 3 basic ways to use color in painting.

1. Local Color (or Objective): Painting the object the color that it is in normal daylight.

2. Optical Color: Depicting an objects color as it might be seen under var

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