it heightens our perception and intensifies our emotions and psychological reactions. To become proficient with color, you must spend time studying it and working with it. There have been numerous color “systems” developed in an attempt to put order to color; to try and make it easier to understand. Some are simple and others are technical. I’ll try to keep it simple, yet bring you in to why I find it so very fascinating.
After studying color I realized that I would never take my eyes for granted again – they are amazingly complex… way too complex for me to even begin to understand. Hopefully this information will help you begin to understand how we perceive color and therefore give you a basis on which to build your knowledge.
It is the color system of white light that mystifies me, yet intrigues me. It is important for artists and designers to pay attention to the “source” of light in which they work. Different light sources (natural-sun, incandescent, fluorescent, halogen) will change the color perception.
What is most amazing to me is that the color our brain perceives is not tangible, it’s not real. Light information is carried to our brain through the optic nerve via wavelengths – so what we see is not actually color, but vibrating wavelengths that are emitted from the surface of every object. Each color “hue” has its own wavelength. These wavelengths also determine a color’s intensity. The intensity of a color will change dependent on the amount and type of available light.
This is why many have such a difficult time picking colors for painting walls – what is perceived as “the color” on a north wall will be different from what is perceived on a south wall. This is because the light source varies in type and amount. Color selected under halogen light will be perceived differently under incandescent light or natural light.
So, is it important to truly comprehend and understand this perception of color? Most likely only if you want to pursue a career in the visual arts – LOL. BUT, knowing a little of what is behind these theories will help make it easier for you to make decisions when it comes to selecting and understanding color combinations.
The point of this dialogue is… if you want to have consistency when you “see” color be certain to use good light, consistent light. This will allow you the freedom to look at your colors with the “same eye” each and every time.
My next attempt will be at starting to break down some of the color information by sharing examples – thus I will need to write up information as well as “create” examples. This will take some time, but hopefully the waiting will be worth it in the long run. Following is my first real “lesson” in color. It’s kind of tricky trying to break down four years worth of education into little information packed capsules – I hope I do this all justice. Especially when I run around like a chicken without a head trying to keep up with all I have heaped on my plate Ü
I would also like to thank those of you who have taken the time to let me know that you are excited about this, that you are looking forward to what it is that I will try and share. I hope I can keep up with you all and I thank each of you for sharing in my excitement.