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
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 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.
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.
Red, Yellow and Blue are the primary colors. These are the three basic colors that are used to mix all hues.
Orange, Green and Purple are the secondary colors. They are achieved by mixing two primary colors together.
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 sit next to one another on the color wheel. These colors are in harmony with one another.
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.