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Art Encyclopedia - Colour

Art information > Art Encyclopedia > C > Colour

Colour
The study of colour falls into three field: physics, physiology and psychology. The study of these three fields affects the artist's knowledge, experience of and attitude towards colour.

Colour exists in light; in sense it is a quality of light. A colour is the selective reflection of light, for example, the colour red reflects the red rays of light and absorbs the rest. Black and white are not colours in this sense as white reflects all light and black absorbs all light.

Colour generally has three attributes:
1 - Hue, which is the colour itself.
2 - Saturation or Intensity, which is the degree of purity and strength.
3 - Value or Brightness, which is the light or dark of a colour.

Brilliance of colour is a combination of saturation and brightness. Intensity of colour is achieved in a particular pictorial situation, for example, a colour can gain in intensity by being placed in contrast or juxtaposed to opposite colours, for example, a blue placed against a purple will not have the same intensity as it will against a clear green. Pure colours are hues without additions and the most intense saturation of that colour. Pure colours are the primaries and the secondaries of the colour wheel.





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