Color alone doesnot create an effectof depth. It is asecondary indicatorthat supports oneor more pictorialdepth cues. Thespatial effects ofcolors can bereduced orreversed bypictorial depthcues.
In this example, thefigure-groundperception trumpsany spatial effectsof the colors.
In this painting by Gauguin, the hot colors in the backgroundadvance, and the cooler colors in the front recede, but spatial order is maintained by overlap and figure-ground clues. The space, however, does seem shallower due to the color arrangement.
The key to predicting when a color will advance or recede lies in the phrase “all other factors being equal.” The dominant quality of a color determines whether it seems to move forward or backward.
A transparence illusion is a three-dimensional illusion that takes place when two opaque colors and an interval between them are arranged in such a way that one color appears to betransparent and lying on top of another.
A transparence illusion depends equally on two ideas: • the pictorial depth cue of overlap • the intervals of a parent-descendant color series
The guidelines of spatial effects determine which color in a transparence illusion will appear to be on top of the other.
A color that is high in value, warm, or brilliant will appear to be on top when paired with a darker, cooler or duller one.
If the middle color isan interval betweenwarm and coolparents, the warmerparent color appearsto be on top.
If the middle color isan interval of valuebetween the parentcolors, the lighterparent color appearsto be on top.
If the middle color isan interval betweenchromatic andachromatic parents,the chromatic parentwill appear to be ontop.
Shifting the middle interval closer to one parent orother alters the apparent degree of transparency of the top color.
Certain hues suggest transparency. Cool hues, especially tints of blue and green, often seem transparent.
Hues that areboth warm anddark seem moredense andopaque.
And the mediummakes adifference.Brilliance andtransparency aremore easilydisplayed on ascreen...
Fluting is an illusionthat occurs in a series of uniform vertical stripes with progressive steps of value.
This is because of thesimultaneous contrast between different values.
You always see a darker line on the darker side and alighter line where thelighter value touches the darker.
This does not occur when colors are arranged in a random order.
Vibration is an effectthat takes place when blocks of brilliant and complementary (or near-complementary) colors that are close in value are placed together.
Vibration is caused by several things: theinability to find edges, the conflict of trying to reach equilibrium in opposing and brilliant colors at the same time, and the effect of natural eye movements called saccades.
Because every image is created by the placementof different values, changing a block of color from dark to light creates a new and different image – not a lighter or darker version of the original.
An optical mix, (or partitive color,) is created when two or more colors, in tiny masses or patches just at thethreshold of vision, are used together to create a wholly new color.
The color masses inan optical mix are sotightly configuredthat they are verydifficult to distinguishas individualelements, but the donot entirely blend.
Optical mixes are sometimes called retinal mixesbecause color is mixed in the eyes, not in a jar or on a palette. La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1884
The success of an optical mix depends on the size of its color masses relative to the distance from which the whole will be ordinarily seen.
The size of the color masses or patches dependstotally on the distance from which the work will be viewed.
Optical mixes that are below the thresholdof vision play an enormous role in industry and design.
Most color printing is achieved by the optical mixing of process colors.
Even your computer screen is really using opticalmixing with the millions of red, green and blue pixels that make up all colors seen.