Chapter 5

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  • On this flat white surface you should see a very bright white circle of the same size as the black one.
  • Chapter 5

    1. 1. Understanding ColorChapter 5: The Instability of Colors.
    2. 2. Painters commonlyexperience the surprise ofcarefully mixing a color onthe palette only to see itchange when it is placedamong other colors in apainting.
    3. 3. There are only 6 colors inthis composition, but theplacement of each block ofcolor is affected by thecolors next to it.
    4. 4. 11 1
    5. 5. 22
    6. 6. 33
    7. 7. 4 4 4
    8. 8. 5 5
    9. 9. 6 6
    10. 10. Grace Hartigan, “River Bathers,” 1953 We are not normally aware of this phenomenon, but it ispresent wherever one colored shape meets another in our line of vision.
    11. 11. Changes take place in colorsfor two very different reasons:• Any change in ambient lighting has the potential to alter the appearance of colors.• The arrangement of colors is the second cause of color instability. 11 11
    12. 12. Changes in ambient lighting affect subtractive colors only. 12
    13. 13. Additive light isnot affected byambient lightingeven though itappears moreintense in thedark. 13
    14. 14. Placement of colors affects both subtractive and additive color. 14
    15. 15. The concept that every color is subject to beingchanged by its placement is perfectly expressed by Josef Albers’ phrase “interaction of colors.” 15
    16. 16. A composition is something made up of individual parts that have beenarranged in such a way that they are understood as a single, complete idea. 16 Theo van Doesburg
    17. 17. A composition is understood as separate from its setting and from other things around it. 17
    18. 18. A designcompositionis a plannedarrangementof forms andcolors meantto be sensedas a singlevisual idea. 18
    19. 19. A color composition is a group of colors meant to be sensed as a whole. 19
    20. 20. A group of colors selected for use together is called many different things depending upon the industry ordesign discipline it is intended for: a palette, a colorway, a color story, etc. 20
    21. 21. The background of a composition is its ground. 21
    22. 22. Different industries use different terms for the materials that are used as grounds. 22
    23. 23. Colors printedon fabric orwall coveringare said to beprinted on a“ground.” 23
    24. 24. Thebackground ofa carpet orbanner iscalled the“field.” 24
    25. 25. The paper used in printing is called “stock.” 25
    26. 26. No matter what word is used, “ground” means background when color relationships are discussed. 26
    27. 27. The ground may be accidental or unconsidered, but it is always a factor in the final composition. 27
    28. 28. Ground establishes the visual reference point for carried colors. 28
    29. 29. It is a critical element in color compositions that is often overlooked. 29
    30. 30. The ground is not necessarily the largest area in a comosition. 30
    31. 31. The area in a design that is ground is determined by the arrangement of forms, not by color or relative area. 31
    32. 32. Visual cues determine which part of a composition is identified as image or pattern and which part is understood as background. 32
    33. 33. Negative space is the area within a composition that is not part of the image or pattern. 33
    34. 34. Negative space is often, butnot always, the samearea as the ground. 34
    35. 35. In some kinds ofpatterning it can be difficult to decide which part of a design is ground and which is carried color. 35
    36. 36. It is not neccessary for ground to be a clearly definedarea. Colors will interact whether the ground is obvious or uncertain. 36
    37. 37. Three different kinds of colorinteraction cause apparent change in ground and carried-color situations. • simultaneous contrast • complementary contrast • ground subtraction 37 37
    38. 38. All three serve to intensifythe differences between colors. 38 38
    39. 39. Equilibrium is a physiologicalstate of rest thatthe eyes seek at all times. 39
    40. 40. The eyes are at rest when the primary colors of light– red, green, and blue–are within the field of vision. 40
    41. 41. The artists’primaries red,yellow and bluereflect thesewavelengths. 41
    42. 42. The processprinting primariescyan, magentaand yellow alsoreflect thesewavelengths. 42
    43. 43. Thepresence ofany of thesesets ofprimarycolors in thevisual fieldwill bring theeyes to astate ofequilibrium. 43
    44. 44. It is notnecessary,however, forthe primariesto be presentasindividualcolors forthe eye toreach a stateof rest. 44
    45. 45. Any number ofcombinationsand mixtures willallow the eyes toreachequilibrium... 45
    46. 46. three primaries... 46
    47. 47. a pair of complements... 47
    48. 48. or two secondary colors... 48
    49. 49. or a hue diluted by its complement (a tertiary color). 49
    50. 50. The three colors do not have to be equal in area either. 50
    51. 51. Equilibrium isreached mosteasily when theprimaries aremixed together intomuted hues. 51
    52. 52. The slightestdulling of a purecolor makes it lessstimulating to theeye. 52
    53. 53. The popularity of “earth” colors, which are hues muted by the addition of their complement, mayderive from the fact that they are genuinely, physically, restful. 53
    54. 54. The eyes will always seek the most physiologically comfortable pathways in color perception. 54
    55. 55. Simultaneous contrast is an involuntary response thattakes place when the eyes are not at rest – when a single hue is present in the field of vision 55
    56. 56. In this situation the eyes work to generate the missingcomplement, which appears as a wash of hue in any nearby achromatic area. 56
    57. 57. In this situation the eyes work to generate the missingcomplement, which appears as a wash of hue in any nearby achromatic area. 57
    58. 58. In this situation the eyes work to generate the missingcomplement, which appears as a wash of hue in any nearby achromatic area. 58
    59. 59. In this situation the eyes work to generate the missingcomplement, which appears as a wash of hue in any nearby achromatic area. 59
    60. 60. If a single primary color is present, the missing secondary appears. 60
    61. 61. For any give color the eye spontaneously andsimultaneously generates the missing complement 61
    62. 62. The effect of simultaneous contrast is most apparent when the stimulating hue is a saturated color... 62
    63. 63. or a brilliant tint... 63
    64. 64. ...but muted, tinted, or darkened hues will also cause it to take place. 64
    65. 65. Simultaneous contrast will occur to some extent whenever a single hue is placed on, or next to, an achromatic area. 65
    66. 66. Simultaneous contrast is a factor in the selection of everyneutral (including, and especially, variations of white) that is intended for use with a single hue or close family of hues. 66
    67. 67. Fortunately, it is not difficult to anticipate and counteractunwanted effects. If a green textile is used with a white one,adding a slight green undertone to the white counteracts the red that the eye generates. 67
    68. 68. Nearly allsituations inwhich threeprimaries arepresent in thevisual field allowthe eye to be atrest, butcompositionswith blocks ofvery brilliantcolors can be anexception. 68
    69. 69. Vivid hues usedtogether can attimes deliversuch strong,separate, andcontradictorystimuli that theeyes respond toeach as if itwere a singlesensation. 69
    70. 70. The struggle tomaintainequilibriummeans that theeyes must work,and work hard.The resultingeye fatigue canlead to genuinediscomfort, likeheadache orblurred vision. 70
    71. 71. Afterimage or successive contrast is an image that appears after a stimulating hue is taken away. 71
    72. 72. Afterimage requires a brilliant colorstimulus and a nearby, but separate, blank white or light surface. 72
    73. 73. 73
    74. 74. 74
    75. 75. Contrast reversal is a variation ofafterimage where the “ghost” reversalappears as a sort of double negative. 75
    76. 76. 76
    77. 77. 77
    78. 78. Afterimage also occurs without hue. A black and white illustration viewedin this way will appear with the values reversed, like a photographic negative. 78
    79. 79. QuickTime™ and a GIF decompressorare needed to see this picture.
    80. 80. Complementary contrastdescribes what happens when two colors with a complementary relationship–even the slightest complementary relationship–are used together.
    81. 81. According to your book, the difference between complementary contrast and simultaneous contrast is that two hues must be present for complementarycontrast and only one hue is present for simultaneous contrast.
    82. 82. Complementary contrast intensifies the differencebetween two hues that are already present, and already different.
    83. 83. Complement ary contrast occurs withevery form of color: saturated color, tint, shade, or muted. hue.
    84. 84. A saturated color is seen at its maximum hue intensitywhen it is paired with its complement or near complement.
    85. 85. The difference in hue between the two is emphasized, but neither color undergoes any change.
    86. 86. This is true for for saturated colorsthat are opposite at all points on the spectrum, not just primary-secondary color pairs.
    87. 87. The second aspect of complementarycontrast is its power to bring out undetected hue.
    88. 88. The second aspect of complementarycontrast is its power to bring out undetected hue.
    89. 89. Colors do not have to be exact opposites for complementary contrast to occur. They can be near-complements or part-complementslike red-orange and green or yellow-green and violet for the effect to occur.
    90. 90. When colors other than the primary and secondary pairs are in a complementary or part-complementaryrelationship, they undergo a shift in hue toward the most similar primary–secondary pair.
    91. 91. When colors other than the primary and secondary pairs are in a complementary or part-complementaryrelationship, they undergo a shift in hue toward the most similar primary–secondary pair.
    92. 92. The orange cup against aviolet background looksmore yellow than whenseen against anachromatic background.
    93. 93. Two navy blue samples, placed together, may suddenly appear greenish-navy and purplish-navy.
    94. 94. Two navy blue samples, placed together, may suddenly appear greenish-navy and purplish-navy.
    95. 95. Two navy blue samples, placed together, may suddenly appear greenish-navy and purplish-navy.
    96. 96. The important thing to remember is that the eye seeks not onlyequilibrium, but also the simplest and most “completing” hue relationship.
    97. 97. Complementary and simultaneous contrast both intensify differences betweensamples that are already unlike.
    98. 98. Ground subtraction is completely different.
    99. 99. It takes place when a ground and its carried colors have qualities in common–and also qualities that are different.
    100. 100. Whatever qualities that are shared by a ground and itscarried colors are reduced; at the same time, differences between them are emphasized
    101. 101. A pinkish purple...
    102. 102. A pinkish purpleon a pink background looks more purple.
    103. 103. A pinkish purple...
    104. 104. A pinkish purpleon a purple background looks more pink.
    105. 105. This is an example of hue subtraction.
    106. 106. The effect of alteredvalue is the same when hue is present.
    107. 107. Any ground subtracts its own qualities from colors it carries. The more similarities a color haswith its ground, the more apparent their differences will be.
    108. 108. In theory, primary colors will not change in hue by placement, although they can be altered in apparent value.
    109. 109. In theory, primary colors will not change in hue by placement, although they can be altered in apparent value.
    110. 110. Secondary and intermediate colors (and all hues betweenthem) will change, at times quite dramatically, when placed on grounds that share different aspects of their own qualities.
    111. 111. The difference between the two carried colors seems even greater because both hue and value are affected.
    112. 112. A muted or chromatic gray is more vivid on a grayed ground and more muted on a chromatic one.
    113. 113. The more complex a color is–the more elements it contains– the more likely it is to be affected by colors around it.
    114. 114. The more complex a color is–the more elements it contains– the more likely it is to be affected by colors around it.
    115. 115. The changes that take place in complex colors are notnecessarily more dramatic than those that take place with simpler colors.
    116. 116. Change is simply more likely, because the more “ingredients”that are present, the greater the number of possibilities that itwill have elements in common with (and also different from) its ground.
    117. 117. Finally, color shifts can be extreme when both ground subtraction andcomplementary contrast are in play.
    118. 118. In this comparison, the achromatic gray has beencreated by mixing violet and yellow. In addition to thecomplementary contrast, there is ground subtraction. Finally, there is a value contrast.
    119. 119. The principle of ground subtraction can be used inreverse to make different (but similar) colors appear to be identical.
    120. 120. The principle of ground subtraction can be used inreverse to make different (but similar) colors appear to be identical.
    121. 121. A different kind of shift takes place in subtractivecolors when a color that has been selected from asmall sample, like a paint chip or fabric cutting, is applied to a large surface.
    122. 122. The direction (placement in space) of a large color plane affects whether it will read as lighter or darker, or more muted or more chromatic than it does as a small chip.
    123. 123. Changes of this kind are NOT color interactions.
    124. 124. These changes are caused by the different angles of light.
    125. 125. Typically, lightreaches surfaces fromabove and at anangle. This is whywalls appear lighterand ceilings darker.
    126. 126. Colors alsoappear morechromatic on alarger plane.A vivid color,mindlesslycheerful in asmall doses, canbe overwhelmingas a painted wall.
    127. 127. Adjusting a color selection to compensate for the differencebetween a small sample and the same color in a large area is anissue faced more in architecture and interior design than in other design fields.
    128. 128. But the scale and quantity of colors makes a difference in every design decision.

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