Colour, how do you define it?

Colour is the element of art that is produced when light striking an object or a subject is reflected back to the eye. In art colour has a plethora of attributes and meanings which are subjective by social, political, historical and personal beliefs and/or culture.

Colour Theory is a number of specifications on how colour is used by artists and designers; they underpin how a creative person makes noted decisions on how to work with it in relationship to the other elements of art and principles of design.

Hue a colour or a shade

Primary colour red, blue and yellow

Secondary a colour that has been made by mixing any two of the primary colours

Tertiary colour a colour that has been made by adding equal amounts of a primary and secondary colour

A twelve section colour wheel

The first circular colour diagram was designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666 (the same year as The Great Fire of London).

Element of Art – “colour” subject vocabulary

HueA true colour, without tint or shade. This is generally what we mean when we say ‘colour’.
ChromaticityThe “colourfulness” of a hue. Chroma, the Greek word for colour – purity.
SatuationThe intensity (strength) of a colour.
ValueThe brighter the colour the higher the value/
Colour Mixing & Using the Colour Wheel
Primary coloursred, yellow and blue
Secondary coloursgreen, orange and violet (purple)
Tertiary coloursred-orange, red-violet, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-violet, blue-green
Monochromatica colour scheme just using one colour (several shades of the same colour)
Analoguesany three colours side-by-side on the colour wheel eg. orange, red-orange and red
Complementarytwo colours that are opposite eg. red and green
Triadicthree colours on the colour wheel that are equal distance from each other
Neutralcolours that are NOT found on the colour wheel eg. grey, brown
Warm Colourscolours that do not include blue
Cool colourscolours that do not include red
Tintswhite added to a colour
Shadesblack added to a colour
Tonesgrey added to a colour