Differences in Colour

coloursFor those of you who paint (snicker snicker) you’ve learned about the differences that exist in colour.  Here’s a quick overview of how colour translates.

A Warm colour advances toward you including any colour based on yellow and red.

A Cool colour backs away from you and includes any colour based on blue or green.

Now for the part that often confuses people.  So here are some definitions that may help in that regard.

Hue – is another word for colour

Tint – is when white has been added to a colour to lighten it. Because I am a summer for example, I don’t feel comfortable with stark white. When painting my kitchen cupboards one year, I wanted white but not super white. I added 3 dobs of brown and the white remained white, but it was softer.  Because it was a galley kitchen, cupboard faced cupboard and enhanced the white.  One other thought on that since this reminded me.  (Any colour you use will be enhanced times two three or four.  If you intend painting every wall one colour, that colour is enhance by as many walls as you paint.  In that case, try choosing the colour you love and going up 4 levels on the paint chip which will give you the colour it will appear on your wall. It isn’t a written in stone thing, but close enough.  If they are opposite each other then times two. If only one wall is painted this colour, it will be affected by it’s surroundings but wont change necessarily.) Only one person noticed the brown I’d added but the surface wasn’t stark yet it came off as white.  This was a kitchen without windows so had no lighting to contend with other than the overhead lighting.

Shade – is adding black to a colour to darken it. If you find a colour you love but it’s too light and doesn’t quite match what your after, adding black (carefully) can change the depth.

Intensity – is the measurement of the brightness or dullness of a colour. An example would be red vs. pink (red obviously being the more intense).

Colour Affinity

Analogous – includes colours adjacent to each other on the colour wheel.

Complementary – refers to colours opposite on the colour wheel such as blue and orange.

Monochromatic – includes tints and shades of the same colour.

Living with colour has a “feel”.  The longer you live with and are surrounded by a colour, the more you understand the significance. They did a study with pink in prison years back.  At first, pink had a calming affect on angry people, but they noticed with time they returned to being furiously angry.  Interesting I thought.

Light:  Northern light exposure tends to subdue and sedate even the brightest of colours while a Southern exposure enhances them.

Incandescent bulbs give off a yellowish light which picks up and enhances yellow and red while florescent lighting (with a bluish glow) emphasizes blue.

LED lighting is even more direct and piercing.  I really suggest if you use LED light that you place colour near it since I personally believe it makes a huge difference and at this stage of the game, my eyes aren’t what they once were so I can’t explain from personal experience in order to direct you on this one.

Texture:  If you’ve played around with painting and or surfaces you’ll soon realize that smooth or textured surfaces also impact colour.  If you used yellow for example on a smooth surface or used high gloss paint, it becomes brighter while on a textured surface the same yellow will appear lighter.

Psychology of colour:

Yellow adds a feeling of warmth, cheerfulness and sunniness.

Red for example, is hot intense lively and dramatic.

Blue has the affect of feeling calm to some while others find it depressing. 

Green has a relaxing restful refreshing soothing feel as it’s associated with nature.

Orange can be over-stimulating to some as it combines the sunniness and cheerfulness of yellow and the invigorating quality of red.

Purple is a colour you either love or hate because it can be cold and austere, dignified and reserved, or seen as sleekly sophisticated.

If you can, after narrowing down the colour you wish to use, buy a couple of sample colours and dab those on the walls in the room in which you wish to add it.  During early morning, afternoon, evening and night, watch how the colour changes and whether you enjoy that change throughout the day.  If you don’t wish to buy samples, grab several colour samples and tack them to the walls in the same manor.  Either way, you’ll get a definite feel for the colour and whether you love it as much as you thought, and whether the lighting in your room changes it whether enhancing or degrading the colour.

18 thoughts on “Differences in Colour

    1. Haha love That! Trusty jeans. I’m delighted it wax helpful. I tried to break it down so it’s useful. It can get complicated. Did you see Elaine, she post. I thought I was in serious trouble, lol because she wants to get a divider now, lol. I tried to explain, these are guidelines, lol not written in stone, you’re there you know what’s what things to keep in mind lol

  1. Thank you! My daughter is getting into art and I’m going to share this with her. Very useful information! If I ever get a chance to create anything artistic (he he, if I have the time) I will also find it a good source. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Your so welcome Sumyanna. I write what I hope is useful. It’s based on things I’ve learned and found valuable. So it touches me that it’s of value to you!

      1. I hope to someday have more time for art. I have not. I have not been taught either. I have only spent some time working on Zentangles for helping me to relax, but even that I don’t have time for these days. It’s okay… I’m not complaining. Life sometimes can just be busy and I have to learn to prioritize. Right now, the kids need me more than anything. If I do a good job for them – it will be worth every sacrifice. What you have shared is truly helpful. Two of my daughters are interested in art right now. I am going to share it with them.

        1. That’s wonderful about your daughters interest in art. Not sure if you’ve seen Elaine’s blog, but she simply picked up a paintbrush not having ever painted before and voila, her work is amazing! I applaud you for your care and love for your children. I too put them ahead of myself. I felt that was important, their wellbeing important. The sacrifice, such as it was, was completely worthwhile! They are wonderful people, that I’m proud of. They aren’t perfect, but then nor am I. Still, they are incredible.

          1. Not sure if I do know about Elaine’s blog. Can you share a link? I’d love to see. I truly love art in all its forms.

            Yes, it is a struggle but the end result is so worth anything this world can give me 🙂 So glad because you sound like you have wonderful children. No one is perfect, imperfection is true beauty 🙂

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