News2010.11.12 00:28

Color, Value and Hue

Color is one of the most powerful of elements. It has tremendous expressive qualities. Understanding the uses of color is crucial to effective composition in design and the fine arts.

The word color is the general term which applies to the whole subject - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, black and white and all possible combinations thereof. Hue is the correct word to use to refer to just the pure spectrum colors. Any given color can be described in terms of its value and hue. In additon, the various physical phenomena and pyschological effects combine to affect our perceptions of a color.

Value and Hue

Value is defined as the relative lightness or darkness of a color. It is an important tool for the designer/artist, in the way that it defines form and creates spatial illusions. Contrast of value separates objects in space, while gradation of value suggests mass and contour of a contiguous surface. In the drawing on the right, value contrast separates the artichoke from the background, and the separate leaves from one another, while gradation suggests the curves of leave surfaces and of the whole form.

Hue also has value. When contrasting hues are made similar in value, the spatial effects are flattened out. The pair of images on the left demonstrate this. In the color image of the fashion model the coat draws our attention through contrast of hue although the skin tones blend with the background(remember the object of the image is to sell the coat, not the model). However, it also seems to be softly blending with a background that seems quite close, and is very similar to the coat in value. The face tends to blend with the background which is similar in both hue and value. In the black and white version, however, the coat virtually disappears, since only value, not hue, are available to distinguish it, and the values are quite similar. However, the strong value contrast of the eyes and hat draw our attention to the face, even though the contours of the face seem to melt into the background. Therefore the black and white version emphasizes the model more than the garment.

To summarize: If values are close, shapes will seem to flatten out, and seem closely connected in space; none will stand out from the others. If values contrast, shapes will appear to separate in space and some will stand out from the others. This works whether the colors are just black, white and gray, or whether hues are involved.

Hue is the term for the pure spectrum colors commonly referred to by the "color names" - red, orange, yellow, blue, green violet - which appear in the hue circle or rainbow. Theoretically all hues can be mixed from three basic hues, known as primaries. When pigment primaries are all mixed together, the theoretical result is black; Therefore pigment mixture is sometimes referred to as subtractive mixture.

The primary colors consist of three hues from which we can theoretically mix all other hues. There are two commonly used definitions of primary colors:

Painters Primaries - red, blue, yellow: This traditional definition of primaries does not in fact mix to clear greens or purples; it is based on 19th century theories.

Printers Primaries - magenta, cyan (turquoise), yellow: This definition of primaries mixes to clear colors across the entire spectrum. It is used as the basis for color printing. The computer screen probably does not give you a true turquoise--the color should be a blue-green-- because of differences between color mixture in pigment and color mixture in light.

In mixing colors hues can be desaturated (reduced in purity, weakened) in one of three ways: mix with white to lighten the value (tint), mix with black to darken the value (shade), or mix with gray or the complement to either lighten or darken the value ( tone).

Light Primaries - red, blue, green. This definition is active when colored light is mixed, as on your computer screen, or when theatrical spotlights overlap on a white wall. Its effects are less familiar than pigment mixture to most people. If all three primaries are mixed, the theoretical result is white light. Therefore Light mixture is sometimes referred to as additive mixture.

Your computer screen mixes color as light, and therefore follows additive color mixture rules. This means that the depiction of subractive mixture shown here is less than ideal, particularly for the cyan (turquoise) and magenta of the printers primaries.

If you want to see some amazing animations of hue and value relationships, try going to this link, which will also take you to a good descriptive explanation of hues and primaries.

There are many systems for classifying hue, developed so that researchers can measure and define color qualities, and so that designers, industry, and marketing people can communicate color ideas over distance. One example is the Munsell system; another is the Pantone System. However, today the communication of precise color information is mainly done digitally, using spectrophotometers to identify and transmit color information. These digital systems use additive (light) mixture rather than the subtractive (pigment or dye) mixture used in systems like Munsell and Pantone.

Complements are colors that are opposite one another on the hue circle. When complements are mixed with one another in paint, the resuting muted tones desaturate or dull the hues. Such opposite pairs can also be compared in terms of their relative warmth and coolness. Warm-cool contrast of hue can cause images to appear to advance or recede. In this 15th century painting, for example, the warm reds of the man's doublet and his son's cap reinforce the cues of placement to make these figures seem very close. On the other hand, the cool tones of the sea and sky suggest great distance.

Afterimage is another, more specific definition of complements consisting of a stimulus color and its physical opposite generated in the eye by exposure to the stimulus color. Afterimage colors tend to make each other appear more intense, and have vibrating boundaries.

Color Illusions

Some of the effects of color occur only in the eye and brain of the viewer, and are not physical properties of light waves or pigment. These illusions, however, are very powerful, and have enormous impact on our responses to color.

Color Proportion refers to the impact of the relative quantity of a given hue or value used in color compositions. In order to achieve over-all unity, and/or create emphasis, one should make a clear decision as to which colors should be assigned the largest and least areas. The color proportion choice will also affect the impact of the color composition. This can be seen in the set of panels shown here. The very same colors are used in each panel. Yet depending on the choice of dominant color, the feeling of the composition, and even the appearance of each color, is altered.

Simultaneous Contrast is the phenomenon which occurs when a color appears to change when seen against a different background. A set of principles were first laid out in the 19th century by Chevreul, a dye master for the Gobelin tapestry works, who became an important color theoretician. His principles state that changes in the hue, value, saturation (purity of hue), and area of a background color will alter the appearance of the selected color. The print shown here is made up of wavy bands of colors. Some of the bands extend from the center panel to intrude into areas of contrasting hue in the side panels. These extended bands are in fact the same hue and value throughout, but appear to change from left to right.

If you are interested in further information about how our visual response to color may vary, see this section on optical effects in color.

Optical mixture is the phenomenon which occurs when small particles of different colors are mixed in the eye; this type of mixture differs from pigment mixture in that it is based on light primaries. However,optical mixture differs from light mixture in which the primaries will mix to white, and from pigment mixture, in which the primaries mix to black. In optical mixture there is an averaging of hue and value, resulting in grey. Optical mixture is experienced when observing many textiles, such as this example, a detail from a handwoven tapestry. It can also be seen in natural objects, color television, and printed color pictures.

For an animated demonstration of optical mixture, try this link. Click on the small animated icon in the upper right hand corner.

Psychological Implications of Color

Market researchers have done extensive studies exploring the emotional responses of people to color. Some of these responses seem to be powerful and fairly universal. However, much of this information is culturally biased. We know that cultural traditions endow colors with powerful meanings that can differ greatly from place to place. For example, in Europe and the United States, black is the color of mourning. In many tropical countries and in East Asia white is the color of death. On the other hand, white is the color worn by American brides, while brides in much of Asia wear red. Based on research done in the United States and Europe,we know that the following associations are generally found to hold in Euro-American societies:

Red is associated with blood, and with feelings that are energetic, exciting, passionate or erotic. Most colors carry both positive and negative implications. The downside of red evokes aggressive feelings, suggesting anger or violence.

  • Orange is the color of flesh, or the friendly warmth of the hearth fire. The positive implications of this color suggest approachability, informality. The negative side might imply accessibility to the point of suggesting that anyone can approach-- a lack of discrimination or quality.

    Yellow is the color of sunshine. This color is optimistic, upbeat, modern. The energy of yellow can become overwhelming. Therefore yellow is not a color that tends to dominate fashion for long periods of time.

    Green In its positive mode, green suggests nature (plant life, forests), life, stability, restfulness, naturalness. On the other hand, green in some tones or certain contexts (such as green skin) might instead suggest decay (fungus, mold), toxicity, artificiality.

    Blue suggests coolness, distance, spirituality, or perhaps reserved elegance. Some shade of blue is flattering to almost anyone. In its negative mode

  • 신고
    Posted by rabbityoo
    Automatism2010.11.10 18:14
    내 실업의 대낮에 시장 바닥을 어슬렁거리면,
    그러나 아직, 나는 아직, 바닥에 이르려면 아직, 멀었구나.
    까마득하게 멀었구나.
    나는 탄식한다.
    아, 솔직이 말하겠다. 까마득하게 멀리 보인다.
    까마득하게 멀리 있는 것이 보인다. 내 발 바로 아래에 놓인,
    비닐 보자기 위에 널퍼덕하게 깔아 놓은,
    저 냉이, 씀바귀, 쑥, 돌갓, 느릎나무 따위들이여,
    그리고 그 옆의, 마찬가지로 널퍼덕하게 깔아 놓은,
    저 멸치, 미역, 파래, 청강, 김가루, 노가리 등이여.
    그리고 또 그 옆의, 마찬가지로 널퍼덕하게 깔아 놓고 앉아서,
    스테인레스 칼로 홍합을 까고 있는,
    혹은 바지락 하나하나를 까고 있는,
    혹은 내 발 아래에 있는, 짓뭉개져 있는,
    저 머나먼, 추운 바닥이여.
    나의 어머님이시여.

    <새들도 세상을 뜨는구나>

    영화가 시작하기 전에 우리는
    일제히 일어나 애국가를 경청한다.
    삼천리 화려 강산의
    을숙도에서 일정한 군을 이루며
    갈대 숲을 이룩하는 흰 새떼들이
    자기들끼리 끼룩거리면서
    자기들끼리 낄낄대면서
    일렬 이렬 삼렬 횡대로 자기들의 세상을
    이 세상에서 떼어 메고
    이 세상 밖 어디론가 날아간다
    우리도 우리들끼리
    우리의 대열을 이루며
    한 세상 떼어메고
    이 세상 밖 어디론가 날아갔으면
    하는데 대한 사람 대한으로
    길이 보전하세로
    각각 자기 자리에 앉는다
    Posted by rabbityoo
    News2010.11.10 16:17

    플랫폼 서울에 아피차퐁 installation이 열렸다. 네 개의 화면에 <엉클 분미>의 화면들이 다시 등장했다.

    Posted by rabbityoo
    Automatism2010.10.29 21:48
    어둔 골짜기 깊은 곳에 굶주린 자들이 죽어 갑니다.
    당신은 그들에게 빵을 내보여 주시지만, 죽게 내버려 둡니다.
    당신은 눈에 보이지 않는 저 영원한 옥좌에 앉아 주위를
    환히 비추고 계시지만 당신의 영원한 계획에는 몸서리가 쳐집니다.

    젊은이, 그리고 삶을 향유하는 자들은 죽게 내버려 두셨지만
    죽으려는 자들은 죽게 내버려 두지 않으셨습니다.
    이제 썩어 문드러진 많은 사람들은
    당신을 믿고 확신하며 죽어 갔습니다.

    가난한 자들의 동경이 당신이 살고 계신 천상보다 아름답기에
    많은 세월 그들을 가난하게 내버려 두셨습니다.
    당신이 빛으로 오시기 전에 그들이 죽었다니 유감입니다.
    그들은 축복 속에서 죽었습니다. 그러나 곧 썩어 버렸습니다.

    당신이 존재하지 않으며, 존재하지 않는 것이 낫다고 말하는 사람이 많습니다.
    허나 어찌 그런 거짓이 통할 수 있겠습니까?
    많은 사람들은 당신 때문에 살아가고 또 죽을 수 있는데 말입니다.
    당신이 존재하지 않는다는 주장을 어떻게 반박할 수 있는지 말해 주십시오!
    Posted by rabbityoo
    News2010.10.27 21:24

    1932. Giacometti 작. 25x28cm
    1932. Giacometti, <오전 4시의 궁전>, 25x28cm

    1932. Giacometti 작. 25x28cm. 참 부끄러운 얘기지만, 이제까지 미술사를 공부하면서 정작 '형식'에 많은 관심을 기울이지 않았던 것 같다. 그러나 최근 Rothko나 Giacometti를 보면서 새삼, 크기를 비롯한 형식이 얼마나 중요한지 깨닫게 된다. Giacometti의 조각들의 흐름에 정말 관심이 간다. 왜? 이해를 못하겠으니까^^; 이 작품이 32년인데, 곧 이어 그의 유명한 인간조각이 나오게된다. 그것도 아주 쬐끄맣게.

    그리고 갑자기 생각해보니, 초현실주의에 영향을 준 정신분석은 Sigmund Freud의 것 뿐 아니라, Lacan의 영향이었을까? 생각해 볼 지점이다. Giacometti의 조각은 볼 수록 신기하다.

    1933_The Surrealist Table_Bronze_143x103x43cm_Musee national d'art moderne_Pompidou

    Posted by rabbityoo
    분류없음2010.10.23 02:10

    내 방 벽에는 일본제 목제품인
    황금색 칠을 한 악마의 가면이 걸려 있다.
    그 불거져 나온 이마의 핏줄을 보고 있노라면
    악할 수 있다는 것이 얼마나 힘든 일인가를
    느낄 수 있을 것만 같다.
    Posted by rabbityoo
    분류없음2010.10.23 01:43
    나도 안다, 행복한 자만이
    사랑받고 있음을. 그의 목소리는
    듣기 좋고, 그의 얼굴은 잘 생겼다.

    뜰에 있는 나무가 보기 싫게
    구부러진 까닭은 나쁜 토양 때문이다. 그러나
    지나가는 사람들은 당연스레 나무가
    보기 싫게 휘었다고 불평할 뿐이다.

    내 눈에는 바다에 뜬 초록빛 보트나 즐거운 돛단배들이
    보이지 않는다. 오히려
    어부들의 찢어진 그물망만 보인다.
    처녀들의 젖가슴은
    예나 지금이나 따스한데,
    왜 나는
    지나가는 사십줄 아낙네의 구부정한 모습만 이야기하는가?
    시를 쓰면서 운을 맞추는 것은
    사치스럽다는 생각이 든다.

    내 가슴속에는
    꽃 피는 사과나무에서 느끼는 감동과
    칠장이의 연설에서 느끼는 두려움과 놀람이 서로 다투고 있다.
    정작 시를 쓰게 되는 것은
    바로 그 두려움과 놀람 때문이다.
    Posted by rabbityoo