Tag Archives: color theory

Color Theory Part 4: Color Relativity

Color relativity is how colors appear when they are with other colors.  How colors are perceived by us may be very different than how they are in reality, and are Dependant on a number of factors.  The intensity of light and shadow, the warmness or coolness of the ambient light, and the color of other objects nearby can all affect how a color is perceived. In art and design, color usage can create striking optical illusions which change the perception of color value, tone, and hue. Do you know someone who has hazel eyes that appear to change color depending on what they wear?  Or how about that car that seems to change color depending on the surroundings?  These are real life examples of color relativity.

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Color Theory Part 3: Color Harmony

Combinations of color are called Color Harmonies.  Also known as color schemes, they are a way of choosing colors in a way to create a certain effect.  Color harmonies are all based on the color wheel.  The list below covers the basic color harmonies that are used in art and design.  This is by no means exhaustive, and there are hundreds of other color schemes, sometimes called palettes,  that can be used.  However, most other color schemes are derived from these basic color harmonies.

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Color Theory Part 2: Color Psychology

This is part 2 of the series on color theory.  In this article, I will discuss color psychology.  Color psychology is the study of how colors affect human behavior.  Color can influence many aspects of someone’s life, even without them realizing it.  Color can affect mood, appetite, and even how food tastes.  Corporations use color psychology when deciding on the colors they will use in their branding as well as their products.  Even the colors of medications are chosen specifically because of how they are perceived by consumers.

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Color Theory Part 1: The Color Wheel

Color theory is the practical guide on color mixing and color combination.  This is the first on a multi-part series about color theory. In this first article, you will learn about color theory as it applies to the color wheel and its definitions.

It is important to know that the foundations of color theory were based around “pure” colors.  Practical applications on mixing these colors will lead to different and sometimes disappointing results.  Conventional wisdom tells us that mixing red and blue yields purple, but in reality the color will be dull and muddy, not the rich purple you were expecting. The reason for this is most of the color pigments in modern paints are not pure, and some lean more to the “warm” or “cool” side of their spectrum.

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