Life would be pretty dull with out colour wouldn’t it?
Then again, you may be colour blind and say “I don’t know what all the fuss is about!”, like my colour-blind friend. I usually regret asking him any questions in regards to colour as the world through his eyes is totally different to the world through my eyes. Did you know that roughly 8% of men and only .5% of women are affected by the colour-blindness genes?
That means most colour related questions should be directed at a female as the odds in getting a male who isn’t colour-blind is a lot higher than finding a colour-blind female.
Enough of those statistics, what is colour? Colour is actually the suns white light being broken down into the 6 colour spectrum. If you see a rainbow, that’s just white light being broken down to its spectrum of colours, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet through means of refraction and reflection of light through water droplets.
Why is the sky blue? Because blue colour is the only colour in the spectrum that doesn’t pass through it. The other five colours of the sunlight (white light) pass through. This starts going into wave lengths of light but basically that’s the answer. Why is apple red or green? Because the red and green spectrum’s don’t pass through the apple. This is just how it is.
Isaac Newton was the first man to create the colour wheel. Our modern understanding of light and colour begins with Isaac Newton (1642-1726) and a series of experiments that he publishes in 1672. He is the first to understand the rainbow — he refracts white light with a prism, resolving it into its component colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.
Back in history, you have to remember, a lot of colours weren’t even available to use. Artists had to be creative with pigments sourcing all sorts of materials to ‘dye’ their paint so to speak. Today we have endless ranges of colours available in numerous mediums. This is another reason we must pay homage to the renaissance greats. They weren’t fortunate to have the colour palette we have available today.
Today we can use just about every colour available. We can use the colour wheel digitally or preselected colour schemes that are proven to be appealing. We use colour to highlight emotions. Sensual, vibrant, moody are just some of the words to describe palettes used in work when displaying an emotive piece of art. You won’t see a lot of grim or dark art works using a vibrant colour palette. It isn’t quite as effective as it is when using a colour palette that represents the theme you are portraying. If you want bright, happy, warm, you use a colour palette that reflects these feelings. You don’t use dull shades, blues or greys… it doesn’t work people!
And last but not least, ‘BLACK’ is not a colour. Black is the absence of all colours. Please remember that. Think of black in the same lines as a black hole. A black hole doesn’t have any light. Light is colour. It’s easy. 🙂
If you want to look at some good examples of colour use especially emotive colour use, I recommend artists such as Leonid Afremov. Leonid is an incredibly talented artist who knows his way around a colour palette. Colourful artists such as Patrice Murciano and Francoise Nielly are also great examples of colour use. There’s many, many more but Leonid Afremov can show you exactly how your display colour most effectively.
The colour wheel and all the physics behind colour you shouldn’t be too concerned about. If you are feeling happy, paint me a bright vibrant painting. If you are feeling sad, paint me a moody blue or grey painting. If you are feeling crazy, paint me something with your own colour scheme, it doesn’t have to make sense, just display your feelings in colour.
I look forward to your colourful art works.