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Color Theory

Color Methods
When painting, an artist has a variety of paints

to choose from, and mixed colors are achieved through the subtractive color method. When a designer is utilizing the computer to generate digital media, colors are achieved with the additive color method.

Primary colors
Irreducible components of color Combinations of the 3 primaries produce entire (infinite) spectrum of color

LIGHT

OPAQUE PIGMENTS

TRANSPARENT PIGMENTS/INKS

Subtractive Color
Subtractive Color. When we mix colors using paint, or

through the printing process, we are using the subtractive color method. Subtractive color mixing means that one begins with white and ends with black; as one adds color, the result gets darker and tends to black. The CMYK color system is the color system used for printing. Those colors used in paintingan example of the subtractive color method.

SUBTRACTIVE primary colors of pigments

SUBTRACTIVE mixture involves the absorption (or subtraction) of spectral components (pigments and dyes)

SUBTRACTIVE primary colors of OPAQUE PIGMENTS

Yellow

Orange

Green

Red Violet

Blue

SUBTRACTIVE primary colors of TRANSPARENT PIGMENTS/INKS

CMYK color of printing Yellow

Red

Green

Magenta Blue

Cyan

CMYK
Reproducing color can be problematic with regard to

printed digital media, because what we see is not what we get. Although a monitor may be able to display 'true color' (16,000,000 colors), millions of these colors are outside of the spectrum available to printers. Working within the CMYK color system, or choosing colors from Pantone palettes insures proper color rendering.

Additive Color
Additive Color. If we are working on a

computer, the colors we see on the screen are created with light using the additive color method. Additive color mixing begins with black and ends with white; as more color is added, the result is lighter and tends to white.

ADDITIVE primary colors of LIGHT

Green

RGB color of computer monitors, television, and (approximately) human vision

Yellow

Cyan

Red

Magenta Blue

ADDITIVE mixture involves the addition of spectral components (light)

A computer monitor pixel is composed of 3 subpixels (each a tiny transistor) with red, green, and blue filters. Through the careful control and variation of the voltage applied, the intensity of each subpixel can range over 256 levels (black =0, white=255). Combining the subpixels produces a possible palette of 16.8 million colors (256 shades of red x 256 shades of green x 256 shades of blue).

RGB
The RGB colors are light primaries and colors are

created with light. Percentages of red, green, & blue light are used to generate color on a computer screen.

Photoshop RGB and CMYK Color Sliders

Electronic (RGB) and Pigment Based Color(CMYK)


(CMYK) When use pigments, you add differing amounts of paint to create color. The more pigment you add, the darker your color usually becomes. 0% pigment is white, at 100% pigment (or you have mixed together pigments that absorb every wavelength of visible light) you have black. (RGB) A LCD screen starts out black; light is added to the screen in differing amounts to create color. The more light from the red, green, and blue phosphors that is added, the brighter and lighter the screen becomes. Therefore, when you have 0% intensity of red, green, and blue the screen is black and when you have 100% intensity of the red, green,

RGB vs CMYK
RGB: colors of computer monitors; colors appear brighter, more vibrant CMYK: colors of transparent inks in 4 process printing; many RGB colors, cannot be printed in CMYK inks. Orthodoxy: RGB images must be converted to CMYK prior to 4-process printing. Work in CMYK for printing.

RGB

CMYK

Additive & Subtractive colors are COMPLEMENTARY

C
Additive

R
B M
Subtractiv e

Yellow

Primary

Red

Blue

Subtractive primary colors (pigments)

Yellow

Secondary

Orange

Green

Red

Blue

Violet

Yellow

Tertiary
Yellow-orange Yellow-green

Orange

Green

Red-orange

Blue-green

Red

Blue

Red-violet Violet

Blue-violet

Yellow Yellow-orange Yellow-green

Orange

Green

Red-orange

Color Wheel

Blue-green

Red

Blue

Red-violet Violet

Blue-violet

Rules of Harmony

Monochromatic

Analogous

Complementary

Split complementary

Analogous complementary

Double complementary tetradic

Triadic

Tetradic

Yellow

Hue

Orange

Green

Red

Blue

Violet

Saturation

white

Brightness

black

Hue, saturation, brightness spectrum

http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/10.0/WSAAFD9CC8-831E-4593-8694-B39919F72A26.html

Temperature

Warm

Cool

Warm and cool colors

http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm