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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hue: The Scheming Element

Fire truck red. Sky blue. Lemon yellow. The primary hues. Most folks call them them colors, but color covers value, intensity, and temperature as well as hue. This discussion is totally about hue, the way colors appear around a typical, traditional color wheel. Hue is the name of the color.

Today, there are multiple variations on the idea of a "color wheel", but if a person understands the traditional triadic wheel built on the primary colors yellow-red-blue, none of the others are really necessary. And it really is the simplest way to understand hue.

Studying hues aside from value, intensity and temperature helps us understand how colors relate to and effect one another.

First, there are the color schemes:
A color scheme is a limited selection of hues that will appear in the painting. The artist finds ways to adapt everything in the paintings so that these colors are the major ones appearing. They might vary in value, intensity or temperature but they will not veer away from the designated hues.

The traditional schemes are primary, secondary, tertiary, analogous, complementary, double complementary, split-complementary. Often, though, artists invent their own schemes some of which might be variations or off-shoots of these.

Primary: Red, Yellow and Blue

Charles Reid's "Brown Jumper" is done in a primary color scheme.

: Purple, Orange and Green

Gaye Adams "White Water" is a secondary color scheme.

Tertiary Triad:

Yellow-Green, Red-Orange, Blue Violet or Blue-Green, Yellow-Orange and Red-Violet. Robert Genn's "Moscow Cafe" uses a
tertiary triad.

: Any set of colors located between two primaries on the wheel
Clyde Aspevig's "End of June" is done with an analogous scheme with colors located between blue and yellow.


Any two colors appearing as opposites on the wheel
Edgar Payne uses a complementary of reddish orange and greenish blue scheme in this sailboat painting. (Note: This is a close to a complementary scheme as I can find at the moment. Somebody's got a better one somewhere...)

Double Complementary:

Take one color, skip one, then pick the next. These plus their opposites create a double complement.
Morgan Weistling uses the double complements of yellow/violet and blue/orange in this lovely portrait, "Ophelia."


Any color with both neighbors on either side of its opposite.
Lili Pell uses the this scheme with green opposing red-orange and red-violet. This is not
a pure SC scheme because of the appearance of blue. Few are pure.

In next week's tutorial, I'll discuss the Munsell Color Wheel and how it is different from the traditional primary wheel. See you then.

1 comment:

KIM-QOAS said...

Every color every hue is represented by me and you:-) I love these post.