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Basic Color Terms

Posted by | March 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

To describe a color with reasonable accuracy, there are three basic properties used to identify the qualities of color:

  1. Hue – the name of a color
  2. Value – the degree of lightness or darkness in a color; can be expressed by tones, tints and shades
  3. Intensity – the degree of purity or strength of a color (hue) or how bright or muted the colors are. For example, an intense red is one that is a very strong, pure red color. When a lighter or darker color is added to a color, the intensity will be less bright. (If you add white to red you get pink, a less intense color strength)
  4. Color Temperatures – Warm colors – Red~Yellow Green; Cool colors: Green ~ Red Purple;
    Warm and cool colors have different effects on the human eyes. Warm colors seem to push forward to meet you, like extraverts at a party. Cool colors in contrast will seem to pull back. This contrast creates the impression in your mind that spatial differences exist on the flat painting surface.

HUE – The pure color (for example RED)

TONE – Hue + small amount of gray or opposite color (will mute or tone down the color)

TINT – Hue + White (will lighten the color)

COMPLEMENT TINT – Tint + small amount of gray or opposite color (will mute or tone down the color)

SHADE – Hue + Black (will darken the color)


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Filed Under: Painting Basics

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