How to direct the eye with colour?
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Thread: How to direct the eye with colour?

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    How to direct the eye with colour?

    What colours are the most noticeable and the least noticeable? I also once heard that the most obvious colours in an image are the saturated ones like bright red, and then from a different person that the most obvious colours are the lightest values (such as white) when converted to greyscale. Which is correct?
    I would very much appreciate any links or book recommendations on the subject of color in character/concept design.
    Thanks for any help.

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    Color only works in context of all other colors in the picture. There is no "set" recipe.

    You can make anything noticeable or subdued by manipulating contrast; but there are so many types of contrast you can use - color, value, size, position, uniformity, orientation, etc. etc. - that you have a huge palette of possibilities.

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    Any kind of extreme in value will call to the eye

    i'm not an expert in color science such as this but I think that the answer is not so simple. For example, if you pair blue with yellow or white, blue becomes noticeable, whereas against purple and maybe grey, it becomes far less noticeable. Colors have a weird effect when you combine them that can be unexpected.

    Red doesn't always draw the eye if it's in a sea of warm colors already. However, a red bird in a sea of green, or a yellow fish in a blue ocean will attract the eye quite readily. The opposite is not quite as true. So perhaps there is a dominant color as a focal, that being the warmer or brighter of the two hue-values. (You could make a neon blue stand out in ochre yellow I'm sure.)

    When it comes to value composition, the rule is to use the "calling" element sparingly. It should take up no more than a third of the canvas. Black or white can do this, even midtone (grey) the trick is to not bungle the canvas by using too much or two little of the chosen contrasting values.

    Last edited by Izi; January 24th, 2013 at 01:02 PM.
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    Color is one of the more complex and interesting animals paired with value. Since yes as others have stated it depends completely what a color is surrounded by and the values. It's how some artists get such amazing results without even some extreme values/color. Which always amazes me.

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    I don't think it needs to be extreme at all, just carefully measured. You can achieve greatness with midtones and a spot of dark or light. Or with silverpoint which has an extremely small value gamut, and no tangibly significat color at all.

    (note to those who don't know - silverpoint is when you take a tiny wire of 925 silver and use it like a pencil. There is also goldpoint, using 24k gold.)

    (a value gamut is the lightest light and the darkest dark range of a medium - of which vine charcoal has the most of, which is why it is valuable to artists - it's quite lifelike)

    Last edited by Izi; January 25th, 2013 at 12:18 AM.
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