Colours with Kalyani- part 12

Definitions of colour spectrum Part Two
The New Year began with us producing a newsletter in a different format. Now I go back to where I stopped. I had earlier given you a small peek into all that is there in colour and its theory. The colour wheel and primary, secondary and tertiary colours are only the beginning of the many aspects in the theory of colour.
We have Value, Intensity, Neutral and more.



The attribute of value describes the lightness or darkness of a hue. By adding white in degrees, a hue is gradually made lighter. Lightened hues are called tints.  A tint of red is pink, a high value.

By adding degrees or black to a hue,  the hue becomes gradually darker,  thus producing a shade. Burgundy is a shade of red,  a  low value.

The attribute of intensity is the brightness or dullness of a hue. Intensity is obtained by adding degrees of grey to a  hue.  The more grey added, the less intense the hue. Full intensity has no grey. Some theorists refer to intensity as chroma or saturation. Chroma, saturation and intensity refer to the same attribute of colour.
Neutrals are grey, black and white. Hues containing a great deal of grey are also called neutrals.

A more sophisticated colour system, introduced by Ostwald, illustrates a hue showing various stages of values and intensities. The neutral pole is the backbone of this system. As you move from the neutral pole, fewer combinations of grey, white and black are seen.





Munsell perfected this system to more accurately describe the placement of the hue on the neutral pole in relation to pigment characteristics. For example, a yellow pigment at fullest intensity has a higher Value than blue. Blue, at fullest intensity, falls lower on the value scale. When all hues are added to the Munsell chart, the chart becomes a three-dimensional globe. Munsell's hue, value and chroma scales are arranged in colour space using values on a vertical pole; hues and chromas on the spokes around the pole connect the value pole to the hue wheel.

Munsell diagrams his colour theory using a neutral pole going from white to black in progressive stages of grey. A large ring surrounds the pole showing his ten basic colours. A neutral hue extends from the pole to the ring like a tape measure. The tape starts very neutrally in tone (low intensity) and as it approaches the designated colour on the ring, it loses its greyness and becomes more intense (high intensity). If the neutral were white or black and it stretched out to a hue, then the varied shades or tints would be identified as having high or low value. Palest pink has high value. Very dark red with black added has low value.

Note also when using Munsell's three-dimensional colour space wheel, that an infinite amount of colours can be envisioned. This is why the study of colour and a three-dimen­sional wheel brings depth to the concept and derivation of colour.
In this article, I have been very theoretical about colour as I must :-)
One might find all the above information too much to comprehend but if one begins to visualize and see around with this knowledge in the background it may well become amazing.
There is a lot more to understand in colour theory.  I shall continue colour theory in my next article.



Earlier episodes of 'Colours with Kalyani':


Part 11: Definition of Colour spectrum - part 1

Part 10: Colour theory introduction

Part 9: Colours of life

Part 8: Coral reefs and colours

Part 7: Colour changing animals

Part 6: How culture, symbolism and emotion plays an important part in colour psychology.

Part 5: Dyeing with Natural dyes: part 2

Part 4: Dyeing with Natural dyes: part 1

Part 3: Colours in Poetry & Literature

Part 2: Colours & birds

Part 1: Colours in nature

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