• Color immediately attracts attention. When presented with a collection of bottles filled with liquid in various colors, very young children will group the objects by color rather than size or shape.
Color Theory• The art and science of color interaction and effects.
Color Interaction• The way colors influence one another• Colors are never seen in isolation. The blue sheet of paper we examine in an art supply store reminds us of the blue sky, the ocean or the fabrics in a clothing store.• Lighting also affects out perceptions. Incandescent light creates a warm orange glow, while standard fluorescent lights produce a bluish ambiance.• When the blue paper is added to a design, it is profoundly affected by the surrounding colors.• This effect is called simultaneous contrast.
Defining Color• Hue: is the name of a color. Red, blue, green, yellow, and so forth are all hues.• There have been numerous systems to organize hues.• Johannes Itten’s 12-step color wheel is a clear and simple example• Red, blue and yellow are the primary colors in the center.• These colors can be mixed to produce many other colors.• The secondary colors of green, orange, and violet follow.• These colors are mixed from the primary colors.• Next are the tertiary colors that complete the wheel.• The mixture of a secondary color and the adjacent primary color creates a tertiary color.
Value• Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a color.• By removing the hue from the equation we can create a simple value scale the shifts from white to black through the shades of gray.• Despite a wide variety of hues all colors have essentially the same hue.• By using a wide variety of values you can create a convincing representation of reality.• Limited value can be used to create mood in a composition.
Color Schemes• Guiding principles for pleasing color effects or color harmonies.• Color harmonies: Combinations of colors that are pleasing.• Colors each have their own mood or emotional response, but that mood can change based on the other surrounding colors.
Complementary and Split Complementary Color Relationships• Complementary Colors – Colors that are opposite on the color wheel. – Create the greatest contrast.
Continued• Split Complementary – A color and two colors on both sides of the complement. – Has slightly less contrast
Triadic Color Relationships• 3 equally spaced colors on the color wheel.• Primary Triad• Less contrast between colors.
Triadic Cont.• Secondary Triad – Use of secondary colors on the color wheel. Has softer contrast and less intense colors.
Triadic Cont.• Intermediate Triad – Created with the tertiary colors. Softest contrast and least intense of all.
Tetrad• 4 Equally spaced colors on the color wheel. A color, its complements and complementary tertiary hues.• Short interval between colors which becomes harmonious.• Has a common hue.• Variations in value and intensity adds variety.
Analogous and Monochromatic Color Relationships• 4 Colors next to each other on the color wheel. – Shortest interval between colors and therefore extremely harmonious. – Always a common hue in the group of colors. – Can change in intensity and value to add visual interest.
Cont.• Monochromatic – Uses only one hue. Explores tints, tones and shades. – Potentially the most monotonous.
Emphasis• Gives prominence to part of a design. A focal point is a compositional device used to create emphasis. Both of these are used to attract attention and increase visual and conceptual impact.
Emphasis by Isolation• Anomaly, or break from the norm, tends to stand out. Because we seek to connect the verbal and visual information we are given, a mismatched word or an isolated shape immediately attracts our attention
Emphasis by Placement• Every square inch of a composition has a distinctive power. As a result, placement alone can increase the importance of a selected shape.• The compositional center is especially potent.
Emphasis Through Contrast• Contrast is created when two or more forces operate in opposition.• Static/dynamic; small/large; solid/textured; curvilinear/rectilinear.
Applying the Knowledge• Which will work better in your design, a limited number or wide range of hues?• What proportion of warm and cool colors best communicates your idea?• What happens when you combine low-intensity colors with high- intensity colors?• Is there a dominant shape in your composition? If so, is it the shape you most want to emphasize?• Is there a focal point in your composition? If not, should there be?