So, We will start with this musical video:
Which are the three basic colors with we can obtain all the others? The OK Go, an indie rock band with hits like Here It Goes Again, tells us in a funny way. Enjoy it!
Before we start working I want to ask you something:
Weren't cyan, magenta and yellow primary colors?
Basic Color Theory
Color theory encompasses a multitude of definitions, concepts and design applications - enough to fill several encyclopedias. However, there are three basic categories of color theory that are logical and useful : The color wheel, color harmony, and the context of how colors are used.
Color theories create a logical structure for color. For example, if we have an assortment of fruits and vegetables, we can organize them by color and place them on a circle that shows the colors in relation to each other.
The Color Wheel
A color circle, based on magenta, yellow and cian, is traditional in the field of art. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Since then, scientists and artists have studied and designed numerous variations of this concept. Differences of opinion about the validity of one format over another continue to provoke debate. In reality, any color circle or color wheel which presents a logically arranged sequence of pure hues has merit.
So, the color circle is one way of organizing colors.
Johanes Itten, did some diferent works about how to organize colors from the color circle:
Colour Sphere in 7 Light Values and 12 Tones
Available color systems are dependent on the medium in which you are working. When painting, an artist has a variety of paints to choose from, and mixed colors are achieved through the subtractive color method. When a designer is utilizing the computer to generate digital media, colors are achieved with the additive color method.
When we mix colors using paint, or through the printing process, we are using the subtractive color method. Subtractive color mixing means that one begins with white and ends with black; as one adds color, the result gets darker and tends to black.
In substractive color mixing the primary colors are cyan, magenta and yellow.
If we are working on a computer, the colors we see on the screen are created with light using the additive color method. Additive color mixing begins with black and ends with white; as more color is added, the result is lighter and tends to white.
In additive color mixing the primary colors are red, yellow and blue.
So, the definition of primary color, really depends on what type of medium of color we are using.The primary colors for the subtractive color system (paint/pigment) are "cyan, magenta and yellow." Notice that "red, yellow and blue" should never be used as the combination for color primaries!The colors light in a substractive system are "red, green, and blue-violet" which are the primary colors for the additive color system (light).
A primary color is a color that cannot be made from a combination of any other colors.
Secondary color is a color created from a combination of two primary colors, green, orange and purple.
Tertiary colorThese are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That's why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.
is a combination of three colors (primary or secondary).
is a combination of three colors (primary or secondary).
How color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes is a complex area of color theory. Compare the contrast effects of different color backgrounds for the same red square.
Red appears more brilliant against a black background and somewhat duller against the white background. In contrast with orange, the red appears lifeless; in contrast with blue-green, it exhibits brilliance. Notice that the red square appears larger on black than on other background colors.
Different readings of the same color:
If your computer has sufficient color stability and gamma correction you will see that the small purple rectangle on the left appears to have a red-purple tinge when compared to the small purple rectangle on the right. They are both the same color as seen in the illustration below. This demonstrates how three colors can be perceived as four colors.
Observing the effects colors have on each other is the starting point for understanding the relativity of color. The relationship of values, saturations and the warmth or coolness of respective hues can cause noticeable differences in our perception of colour
The variability of the color
Hue is somewhat synonymous to what we usually refer to as "colors". Red, green, blue, yellow, and orange are a few examples of different hues. The different hues have different wavelenghts in the spectrum.
Saturation can also be called a color's intensity. It is a measurement of how different from pure grey the color is. Saturation is not really a matter of light and dark, but rather how pale or strong the colour is. The saturation of a color is not constant, but it varies depending on the surroundings and what light the color is seen in.
Complementary colors are any two colors which are directly opposite each other, such as red and green and red-purple and yellow-green. In the illustration above, there are several variations of yellow-green in the leaves and several variations of red-purple in the orchid. These opposing colors create maximum contrast and maximum stability.
The color temperature
Generally, reds, oranges and yellows are considered "warm" colors, and blues, green purples are said to be "cool" colors.
The variability of the color.
1.Divide an A3 sheet transversaly in three equal parts and insert in each of the parts an square.
Then, paint with the same grey value the squares inside and with different grey saturation the parts outside.
Make mixes of colors from primary colors.
2-Draw 3 rectangles lines like these below:
Make the mixes taking two primary colors each time. Make the gradation correctly, so the secondary is in the centre and the primary, of course, in both ends of the row.
3.Draw two rectangles lines like the last exercice.
Choose a primary color and paint with maximum saturation one end of the row.
Make mixes with black or white in order to progresively loose saturation.
Well, you have learnt and practised the Colour Theory, now it's time for a little game....