What is color?

Color is the byproduct of the spectrum of light, as it is reflected or absorbed, as received by the human eye and processed by the human brain. Color is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, blue, black, etc. Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light energy versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors.

Importance of color
Color is a language. Color is one of the most fulfilling elements in our lives. Color can attract your attention or change your mood. It speaks to who you are, how you feel and where you're going. At Sherwin-Williams, we can help you put together the perfect colors for your life. Color is one of the first things you notice when you walk into a room. Is it any wonder that color, and how you use it, is one of the most important decorating decisions you'll

make in your home? Inside your home, the latest colors and the way they're applied give voice to your personality and décor. Color sets a mood. From floor to ceiling, paint color reflects your style and makes a personal statement of what home means to you. Color unites one-of-a-kind accent pieces with manufactured items throughout your home. Electrifying hues, inspired by technology, bring a touch of whimsy to spaces that also feature natural carved wood, woven textiles and wrought iron. Bright colors are further enhanced when paired with large areas of negative space.

Color attributes Hue
Hue, saturation, and brightness are aspects of color in the red, green, and blue (RGB) scheme. These terms are most often used in reference to the color of each pixel in a cathode ray tube (CRT) display. All possible colors can be specified according to hue saturation, and brightness (also called brilliance), just as colors can be represented in terms of the R, G, and B components. In hue there are three types of colors primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Primary colors
In fine arts, there are three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. They are called primary colors because they cannot be created by mixing other colors. Primary colors for the basis for color theory or color mixing, as using these three colors it's possible to mix most other colors. "Primary" colors are either imaginary or imperfect. That is, primary colors are either imaginary sensations you cannot see — and "colors you can't see" aren't really colors — or they are actual lights or paints that cannot mix all possible colors, which means they aren't really "primary". Red, Blue, and Yellow

Secondary colors
They're located in-between the primary colors to indicate what colors they're made from. Secondary colors are usually more interesting than primary colors, but they do not evoke speed and urgency. Secondary colors are colors produced by combining two of the primary colors in equal amounts. The secondary colors, also called binary colors, are violet, green, and orange. Primary and secondary colors are fundamental colors in the subtractive theory of color.

Tertiary colors
Tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary colors. There are six tertiary colors; red-orange, yellow-orange, yellowgreen, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet. In compounding these names, such as “red” with “orange” to make “red-orange,” place the primary name first to indicate an excess of the primary over the other color.

Color value is a term that refers to how light or dark a color is. Value is an important characteristic because it helps quilters decide how to arrange patches of fabric to make them either blend or contrast with each other.

The light tones resulting when white are mixed with a color. Much white makes a color cold.


The shade of a color refers to how dark it is. It is the combination of a hue and black. Thus, burgundy is a shade of red, hunter is a shade of green, and rust is a shade of orange. Shades of a color offer a deeper and richer feeling in decorating and can be used to make any room feel cozier.



Tons are created when gray is added to colors. Adding gray results in colors that are less intense versions of pure colors.

Saturation is similar to chroma in that a color is said to be more saturated if very little gray is present. While there are distinct differences between the two dimensions, suffice to say that a color space's outer edges will house the most saturated colors.

Color harmonies
Harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts, whether it be music, poetry, color, or even an ice cream sundae. In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it's either boring or chaotic. At one extreme is a visual experience that is so bland that the viewer is not engaged. The human brain will reject under-stimulating information. At the other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer can't stand to look at it. The human brain rejects what it can not organize, what it can not understand. The visual task requires that we present a logical structure. Color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order. In summary, extreme unity leads to under-stimulation, extreme complexity leads to overstimulation. Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium.

Cool color
Colors like blue, green, and purple (violet). These colors evoke a cool feeling because they remind the things like water or grass. It gives an impression of calm, and creates a soothing impression. Colors like blue, green, and purple (violet). These give an impression of calm, and create a soothing impression.

Warm color
The colors of red, orange, and yellow are considered warm colors because they are the colors of fire. These hues are also said to advance, meaning they appear to come forward, making the walls feel closer. Thus, they can actually make a room feel cozy when used in decorating.

Monochromatic Color Scheme
The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colors go well together, producing a soothing effect. The monochromatic scheme is very easy on the eyes, especially with blue or green hues.

Analogous Color Scheme
The analogous color scheme uses colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. One color is used as a dominant color while others are used to enrich the scheme. The analogous scheme is similar to the monochromatic, but offers more nuances.

Complementary Color Scheme
The complementary color scheme consists of two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This scheme looks best when you place a warm color against a cool color, for example, red versus green-blue. This scheme is intrinsically highcontrast.

Triadic Color Scheme
The triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. This scheme is popular among artists because it offers strong visual contrast while retaining harmony and color richness. The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious.

Tetradic (Double Complementary) Color Scheme
The tetradic (double complementary) scheme is the most varied because it uses two complementary color pairs. This scheme is hard to harmonize; if all four hues are used in equal amounts, the scheme may look unbalanced, so you should choose a color to be dominant or subdue the colors.

Color wheel

Understanding wheel and using your artwork is

the color color theory in a good idea

for any artist, and especially for oil painters. In this article I’ll go through the basics of color theory (using a traditional artist’s color wheel) and explain ways that oil painters and other artists can make use of that information. In the color wheel pictured above, there are twelve colors. Although they might be selfexplanatory, starting from the top and going around clockwise they are: Yellow, Yelloworange, Orange, Red-orange, Red, Red-violet, Violet, Blue-violet, Blue, Blue-green, Green, and Yellow-green.

Color Psychology
Like death and taxes, there is no escaping color. It is ubiquitous. Yet what does it all mean? Why are people more relaxed in green rooms? Why do weightlifters do their best in blue gyms? Colors often have different meanings in various cultures. And even in Western societies, the meanings of various colors have changed over the years. But today in the U.S., researchers have generally found the following to be accurate.


Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains, such as Dracula, often wear black.

Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. White reflects light and is considered a summer color. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything. However, white shows dirt and is therefore more difficult to keep clean than other colors. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility.


The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention. The most romantic color, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.


The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.


Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in "green rooms" to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.


Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism.


The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.


Hinduism, Buddhism, energy, balance, heat, fire, enthusiasm, flamboyance, playfulness, aggression, arrogance, gaudiness, over emotion, warning, danger, autumn, desire.


Calm, depth, natural organisms, nature, richness, rusticism, stability, tradition, anachronism, boorishness, dirt, dullness, filth, heaviness, poverty, roughness, earth, October, Capricorn, wholesomeness, steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, and dependability.


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