Color Terms 1

 

A knowledge of Color Terms helps us to understand how color is used in art and design. It gives us the vocabulary to help express our feelings about an artwork or design.

 

Additive and Subtractive Color

 

There are two basic color models: Additive and Subtractive Color

There are two basic color models: Additive and Subtractive Color

Additive Color involves the mixing of colored light. The colors on a television screen are a good example of this. Additive primary colors are red, green and blue.

Subtractive Color involves the mixing of colored paints, pigments, inks and dyes. The traditional subtractive primary colors are red, yellow and blue.

In this lesson we are examining the terms used to describe Subtractive Color.

 

The Spectrum

 

The Spectrum

The spectrum is the colors of the rainbow arranged in their natural order: Red - Orange - Yellow - Green - Blue - Indigo - Violet. The mnemonic for this is ROY G BIV.

 

Hues

 

The Color Wheel

THE COLOR WHEEL
Click on the image for an outline of the color wheel to print and color.

A hue is one of the colors of the spectrum. Hues have a circular order as illustrated in the color wheel above. The color wheel is a useful device to help us explain the relationships between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colors.

 

Primary Colors

 

Primary Colors

Red, Yellow and Blue are the primary colors. These are the three basic colors that are used to mix all hues.

 

Secondary Colors

 

Secondary Colors

Orange, Green and Purple are the secondary colors. They are achieved by mixing two primary colors together.

 

Tertiary Colors

 

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are more subtle hues which are achieved by mixing a primary and a secondary color that are adjacent on the color wheel.

 

Analogous Colors

 

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors sit next to one another on the color wheel. These colors are in harmony with one another.

 

Opposite and Complementary Colors

 

Opposite and Complementary Colors

Opposite colors are diagonally opposite one another on the color wheel. Opposite colors create the maximum contrast with one another. You can work out the opposite color to any primary color by taking the other two primaries and mixing them together. The result will be its opposite or ‘complementary’ color.