Art: Interactive colour wheel

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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Interactive colour wheel

    This is designed for generating Hex code for HTML.
    But it shows colour theory realy well.

    http://wellstyled.com/tools/colorscheme2/index-en.html

    Last edited by andy__artist; June 29th, 2005 at 02:50 PM.
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  3. #2
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    But its not correct exactly. Red is complement to Cyan, and not to green.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danilo
    But its not correct exactly. Red is complement to Cyan, and not to green.
    I was taught that red & green are complementary colors as well and was curious as to where you might have gotten this information.

    The test I use for complementary colors is that when you mix any 2 complements together, it produces a neutral, grayish color. Mixing red with any variant of blue will produce purple, a secondary color. So cyan couldn't work as a complement to red.

    Mark Hannon
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danilo
    But its not correct exactly. Red is complement to Cyan, and not to green.
    neither of you are entirely correct...hope this helps.

    it depends what temperature the red is. a cyan is a cool green. so its compliment is a warm red. a cool red will have a warmer green compliment. afterall, compliments are the colors farthest aways from each other in the spectrum...the most different. color is relative.


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  6. #5
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    Well, I know tht colour is something subjective, but this is what I get in Photoshop:

    Interactive colour wheel

    Paint with screen mode.

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    if you paint with real paint, it's like figure2 said: if you mix two compliments, you will get a grayish tone, depending on the amount of the color. this happens with red and green. if you mix red and blue, you won't get a grayish color but something violet, depending on how much of each color you added to the mix it's a blueish violet, or a reddish violet.

    what you mean, danilo, is limited to the screen, where colors are composed of red, green and blue (RGB)

    i'm no pro, though, I'm sure someone can explain this better

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    http://wellmadewebs.com/public/atmo/...ht-theory.html

    "Pigments subtract light energy. Lets assume you are looking at pigments (dyes or paints) under a white light....If a pigment is pure red, that means it has absorbed all the green and blue energy from our white light and reflected only the red.

    This system of color mixing with pigments is called the 'Subtractive Color System' because colors are made by 'subtracting' other colors from white light. The 'Subtractive Primaries' are red yellow and blue. That is, you can make all other colors by mixing those three."


    "In computer graphics, as in photography and television, we use a different color system. We are concerned with light sources, not light absorbers. When we work with light sources (colored lights) we add colors to get other colors. For example, we might add equal amounts of red light and blue light to get 'magenta'. So, this is called the 'Additive color system'. Its primary colors are red, green and blue."

    "The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation." -C.S. Lewis
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    Cyrus,

    I didn't know the science behind it but that's pretty much what I learned back in art school. My teachers were exclusively concerned with natural medums and their instruction was based on mixing real pigments and applying them to a real surface.

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    I would certainly consider the subtractive color system the more significant of the two, since we can often already see the colors we want and it just becomes a matter of being able to express those effectively. It becomes necessary in many cases, though, to know the additive color system so that you know what colors you should actually be trying to express(examples being an imaginary sunset or a bar with neon blue lights).

    I guess I'm just saying it's one thing to know how to use a pencil, and another to know how to draw one.

    ...

    Got kinda off topic there, but basically yes, green is be the opposite hue of red in terms of painting and what we actually see and respond too.

    Last edited by Cyrus; July 2nd, 2005 at 03:59 PM.
    "The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation." -C.S. Lewis
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  11. #10
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    There are actually FOUR different sets of primaries, with different complimentary relationships, depending on what sort of question is being asked. This may seem confusing, but not having these four straight in your mind in fact makes things far more confusing.

    For ADDITIVE MIXING, red, green and blue lights work as primaries. An example would be the colours that you see if you magnify your monitor screen; I see them as an orange-ish red, a yellowish green and a purplish (ultramarine) blue. These colours work as primaries because each stimulates one of the three types of cones in our eyes more than the other two. The signals from these three types of cones are compared on the way to the brain, and if the three additive primaries are present in the right proportion, the signals can balance each other to give us the sensation of white light; in other proportions they give us the full range of hues and intensities that you see on your monitor.

    For IDEAL SUBTRACTIVE mixing, we would like to have colourants that each transmit/reflect two and only two of these primaries of light, because then each pair of subtractive primaries would have one primary of light in common. Thus, equally balanced the pair would mix to produce that common colour, while in other proportions they could produce a full range of intermediate hues. The ideal subtractive primaries are yellow (transmits red and green, but absorbs blue), red-violet (transmits red and blue, absorbs green), and blue-green (transmits blue and green, absorbs red). These are the CMY of graphics programs, and approximate to the yellow, magenta and cyan dyes used in printing.

    Note that each of the ideal subtractive primaries is the complement of one of the additive primaries. All six are shown in the symmetrical arrangment of the standard colour wheel of graphics programs.

    ARTISTS' PIGMENT mixing is basically subtractive, but the primaries and complementary relationships are a little different to those of ideal subtractive mixing. All artist's pigments, to a greater or lesser extent, have bell-shaped reflectance curves rather than perfect plateau-shaped curves. It turns out that because of this, two pigments can be exactly complementary in terms of the light they give off, but not complementary when physically mixed together. For example, if I paint circular discs with my ultramarine and cad yellow light and spin them together in the right proportions I can get a neutral grey, but if I mix them together I get a distinct green. To get a neutral colour I would have to mix the ultramarine with a more orange-ish colour, and the yellow with a more purplish colour. So the colours shift somewhat into the familiar "artist's colour wheel" arrangement, with yellow opposite purple, orange opposite blue, and red opposite green. Red, yellow and blue pigments turn out to be the best primaries for mixing the fullest range of intermediate colours.

    The PSYCHOLOGICAL colour wheel arranges colours according to how we experience them. Red, yellow, blue and green are seen as "unique" or primary colours, with red-green and yellow-blue being seen as polar opposites.

    The artists' colour wheel, with yellow opposite purple, is really only relevant as a guide for mixing artists pigments. Even then it is only a rough guide: in detail the behaviour of artists pigments depends on their exact absorption curves. The "standard" graphics colour wheel, with the additive primaries opposite the ideal subtractive primaries, is the relevant framework for questions (among many others) involving simultaneous contrast and therefore colour harmony. It is a pity therefore that device mentioned at the start of this thread uses the artists' colour wheel instead.

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  12. #11
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    Briggsy,

    You rule.



    Tristan Elwell
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons
    The PSYCHOLOGICAL colour wheel arranges colours according to how we experience them. Red, yellow, blue and green are seen as "unique" or primary colours, with red-green and yellow-blue being seen as polar opposites.
    I don't understand how you can include green among the primaries, psychological or not, since it can be broken down into its primary components of blue & yellow. The way I was taught, primary colors are what is left after you can no longer break them down any further. And that leaves only 3: red, yellow & blue.

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  14. #13
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    You can brake red on yellow and magenta and blu on cyan and magenta (in case that you use IDEAL SUBTRACTIVE mixing, like briggsy sad). Problem is that pure magenta/violet is realy hard to find, but also see in nature. So red and blu can go as primaries too.

    Last edited by Danilo; July 5th, 2005 at 10:12 AM.
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    More on the psychological primaries for figure2

    Of the four psychological primaries, green is the one that causes the most surprise, because the one thing everyone thinks they know about colour is that green is "made" of yellow and blue.

    In fact, if you look into it you will discover that the light reflected by yellow paint is made of wavelengths that individually would look red, orange, yellow and green, while the light that comes off blue paint is dominated by wavelengths that look green, blue and violet. When we mix paints, each component absorbs what it absorbs, and the only thing reflected is what is reflected by both components, in this case green. There, if you are clever at marketing you could sell a whole book based on little more than that revelation. (Oops, sorry. It's already been done).

    But, more to the point, the psychological primaries have got nothing to do with mixing paints: they are the framework of our experience of colour. It is believed that the signals from the three types of cones in the retina are added up and subtracted from each other on the way to the brain to give three signals, one for total lightness, one for yellowness vs blueness, and one for redness vs greenness. When the yellowness and blueness are equally balanced to give a Y/B signal of zero, we experience a pure red, if red is dominant, or a pure green, if green is dominant, or a neutral (white or grey) if the R/G signal is also zero. Similarly for the R/G signal. Other combinations of positive or negative values for the two colour signals give all the other hues we experience. This theory of vision is mainly based on the observations (1) that people can agree closely on what is a red that is neither orange-ish nor purplish, and so on for Y,B and G, but not for other colours such as orange, and (2) that we can not concieve of a single colour that is both red and green, or both yellow and blue. The actual neural mechanism for all this is still being investigated.

    Perhaps this might help. The expression yellowish red conveys the experience of orange. The expression bluish red conveys the experience of magenta. But does the expression yellowish blue really convey the experience of green, or in fact any idea at all?

    Briggsy Rules OK?

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    Unhappy

    I'm sorry to bring this back up, but I've been thinking a lot about what has been said here. Instead of sending individual PMs with my questions I thought everyone would profit from the answers so here goes :

    briggsy@ashtons : Where did you study colour theory ? I've seen a lot of books -as you mentionned- about it and was wondering which ones would be the most succinct on the topic(s?). Do you have recommendations ? We were recommended an old book on the physics of colour back in college but I can't remember the name of the author... As far as I can remember, he was a physicist exploring the subject but in a approachable manner. Kurt Nassau maybe ?

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  17. #16
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    Thanks for your interest, Egerie. I studied art at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, but really I've picked up most of my colour stuff by teaching it. Ashtons deservedly has a strong local reputation for drawing, especially life drawing, but at the time I studied there the treatment of colour was comparatively weak: mostly just the usual stuff about "the" colour wheel, some second-hand colour recipes, and the assertion that colour is subjective and can't be taught (!). I thought I might be able to do better than that, and about seven years ago I began teaching a five-day workshop there called "Colour, Light and Vision". It now runs about six times a year at Ashtons, and from time to time I teach elements of it at Disney's Sydney studio.

    Unfortunately there is no single modern book that comes remotely close to covering everything an artist should know about "Colour, Light and Vision". But I can suggest a couple of easily obtainable older books that you might like to seek out:

    Ralph Evan's An Introduction to Color (1948 ) is a personal favourite for the skilful way it leads the reader through the technicalities of most aspects of the field as they were understood at the time. It is still an excellent introduction to most of this field, and can be obtained secondhand for a few dollars. The most important area where knowledge has moved on vastly from Evans' day is in the study of the eye and brain (though much still remains unknown): for this the website Webvision is an excellent guide.

    Going even further back, the really serious colour enthusiast will want to work through Ogden Rood's (1879) Modern Chromatics. This landmark text is important both as a summing up of what was known about colour at the time, and as an original contribution in itself. It is still of much more than purely historical interest. For example, the matter I mentioned about the difference between the colours obtained by mixing the light coming off pigments and by physically mixing the same pigments is discussed in detail. Also, when I rather tersely stated that the standard colour wheel "is the relevant framework for questions (among many others) involving simultaneous contrast and therefore colour harmony", I had in mind an argument first put by Rood. The 1880 edition of Modern Chromatics is available in DjVu format as a free download from the Million Books Project.

    Thanks again for your question. It's great to find so many people here interested in colour.

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  18. #17
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    The book by Joy Turner Luke that comes with the Munsell Student Color Set is a good, up-to-date overview of color in general, not just the Munsell system.


    Tristan Elwell
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  19. #18
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    Thanks a lot Elwell, briggsy@ashtons ! This should be a good starting point. Or a good restarting point in my case

    It annoys me when we too often see subjectivity slapped on anything and everything in arts. This complete rejection of of academics seem to have become mainstream (explained by a desire to sound more convincingly like an "artiste"). Colour appreciation can be subjective but not the theory behind it. How many scientific books & papers were written on the subject and that of light ? Anyhow…

    I’ll be sure to drop by the workshop if ever in Sydney. In the meantime, happy teaching.

    Onward to reading !

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    Anyone who is reading this and has the opportunity to do Briggys colour course, I HIGHLY recommend it! I've done it and got so much out of it. There is a lot of content so will probably do it a 2nd time, now that I have a much greater appreciation for the subject.

    Me thinks maybe Briggys should put a book together on the topic ...

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