Tag Archives: colors

Facts about the colors

The weekend is over, so I am back to blogging. This is technically my ninth week, but due to the one week hiatus, I will classify this as Week 8.

Today’s entry is going to be about colors. I will cover information on the RYB model and RGB model.

Red-Yellow-Blue

The common model of colors is the red-yellow-blue model, which is used in art, such as painting. In this model, there are five primary colors, the colors that no other color builds up to. These colors are red, yellow, blue, black, and white. Three of these are on the color wheel, which means they have a hue. The other two are neutral colors at the two extreme points. Not including neutral colors, red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors.

There are three properties of colors: Hue, Value, and Intensity (or Saturation in the RGB model):

Hue:

The hue is the location of the color on the color wheel. The three parent colors are red, yellow, and blue. Assuming that they all have the same value (no white or black), blue is the darkest of the hues as yellow is the brightest. The colors with a hue are on the color wheel. The ones without are neutral colors.

Assuming that you only have three colors of paint – red, yellow, and blue. The question is, how are you going to get more colors. By mixing them. Here are the types of colors:

  • Primary – Red, Yellow, and Blue.
  • Secondary – Two primary colors combined where no primary color has more than one amount. In simple English, orange, green, and purple.
  • Tertiary – A combination of a secondary color and a primary color that built up to the color. One primary color is three times as strong as the other.
  • Quaternary – Although this is unofficial, quaternary colors are colors in between primary and tertiary, or secondary and tertiary. This includes all hues in between.
  • Hot – colors of the fire. All colors with more yellow than yellow-green and more red than red-violet are considered hot colors. Red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow are all considered hot. Yellow-green and red-violet are mild.
  • Cold – colors of the water. All colors with more blue than yellow-green and red-violet are considered cold. Green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, and violet (purple) are all considered cold.
  • Neutral – colors without a hue. Black, white, gray, and brown are all considered neutral.

Let’s say that we have a color mixing lab. Each drop is one fluid ounce. Let’s say that four drops makes a full color.

  • Primary – four drops of one primary color.
  • Secondary – two drops of one primary color, and two drops of another.
  • Tertiary – three drops of one primary color, and one drop of the other.
  • Quaternary (strong) – a color in between a primary color and tertiary color. So if one drop is one fluid ounce, less than one drop, but more than none of one primary color is needed as the other needs more than three drops, but less than four.
  • Quaternary (weak) – a color in between a secondary color and tertiary color. So we need more than one drop of one and less than three drops of the other, but neither should be in equal amounts.

To summarize each arc, when we have two primary colors with a ratio, it is a pure color at 1:0. At a tertiary color, we can add the stronger primary color to become a strong quaternary color. We may get to the point when we have a 1:0 or 0:1, depending on what the former color and latter colors are. If we add the weaker primary color to a tertiary color, we get a weak quaternary color. If we keep it up, we get to a pure secondary color, where the ratio is 1:1. When we add more of a primary color to a secondary color, it moves away to a weak quaternary color, a tertiary color, or a strong quaternary color.

Value:

Assuming that all hues are bases, we get to the second property – value. To increase the value, white needs to be added. You can’t subtract colors once mixed in, and adding black makes a gray mixture to the color. Therefore, only a pure primary color can be used for value. White makes colors lighter as black makes colors darker. A color lighter than another of the same hue has a higher value, as a color darker than another has a lower value.

When value is above normal, we have a tint. When value is below normal, we have a shade.

Going back to the color mixing lab, strength applies to tints and shades too.

  • Weak tint – a color where the hue exceeds white. They are lighter than normal, but still close to the base.
  • Medium tint – a color where the hue and white are balanced.
  • Strong tint – a color where white exceeds the hue. These colors are very light.
  • Weak shade – a color where the hue exceeds black. They are darker than normal, but still close to the base.
  • Medium shade – a color where the hue and black are balanced.
  • Strong shade – a color where black exceeds the hue. These colors are very dark.

You can use brown or gray as the substitute as well.

Intensity:

The intensity is the brightness or dullness of a color. There are two base neutral colors that are in neither extreme: brown and gray. Brown comes from mixing a primary color with the opposite secondary color (or complementary colors). Gray comes from mixing black and white. When a hue has none of the complement, it is 100% bright. You can add gray to weaken the intensity as we get a tone of gray. To go to the brown side, either add brown or a complement.

So once again, we see the color mixing lab.

  • Absolute bright – a color where we see 100% of the hue with no mix of gray, brown, or the complement.
  • Strong tone – a color where the hue exceeds gray, brown, or the complement.
  • Medium tone – a color where the hue is balanced with gray, brown, or the complement.
  • Weak tone – a color where the hue is lesser than gray, brown, or the complement.
  • Neutral – just gray or brown. The hue is completely absent.

Red-Green-Blue

So we are done with the RYB model, so let’s take a look at the colors of the light (including computers, TVs, and other devices that use light. In science, this model is the true color model. There are only three primary colors this time, which are red, green, and blue. The hue, value, and saturation are dependant on how much of red, green, or blue you have. Even black and white aren’t primary colors anymore, but they’re still neutral. Add to that, brown isn’t a neutral color either.

Hue:

Like I said on the RYB model, the hue is the location on the color wheel. The RGB model is different to the RYB. Instead of mixing colors, we have amounts of red, green, and blue in lighting. The primary colors are different.

To change the hue, value, or saturation, each of the three colors have a specific value in the colors of R, G, and B. For example, black is R=0, G=0, B=0. Pure red is R=255, G=0, B=0. Pure green is R=0, G=255, B=0. Pure blue is R=0, G=0, B=255. White is R=255, G=255, B=255.

  • Primary – red, green, and blue. Any color where two primary colors have the same value, but the other primary color is dominant.
    • If saturation is 100%, then both recessive colors must be 0 or the dominant color must be 255.
    • If value is 50% (assuming that white is 100% and black is 0%), both recessive colors should still be the same amount, but the sum of the value of the dominant color and one of the recessive colors must equal 256.
    • If both saturation is 100% and value is 50%, then one color must be 255 as the other must be 0.
  • Secondary – any color where two primary colors have the exact same value, but the other primary color is recessive. Basically yellow, cyan, or magenta.
    • If the saturation is 100%, then both dominant colors must be 255 or the recessive color must be 0.
    • If the value is 50%, both dominant colors must be the same amount, but the sum of the value of one of the dominant colors and the recessive color must equal 256.
    • If both saturation is 100% and value is 50%, then two colors must be 255 as one is 0.
  • Tertiary – any color that is exactly in between the primary and secondary color. In order to be a tertiary color, all three colors must be different and have a common difference (assuming that 255 can be rounded off to 256). At this point, we have a dominant color, an intermediate color, and a recessive color.
    • If the saturation is 100%, then dominant color must be 255 or the recessive color must be 0.
    • If the value is 50%, then the sum of the dominant color and recessive color must be 256 (or 255) while the intermediate color must remain to be 128.
    • If both saturation is 100% and value is 50%, then the dominant color is 255, intermediate color is 128, and recessive color is 0.
  • Quaternary – like I said with the RYB model, a quaternary color is any color between the primary and tertiary colors or the secondary and tertiary colors. Once again, the values of red, green, and blue are different, but only this time, there is no common difference.
    • If the saturation is 100%, then the dominant color must be 255 or the recessive color must be 0.
    • If the value is 50%, then the sum of the dominant color and recessive color must be 256 while the intermediate color must be unequal to 128.
    • If both saturation is 100% and value is 50%, then the dominant color must be 255, the recessive color must be 0, and the intermediate color must not be 128.
  • Hot – All colors with more red than violet (tertiary color between blue and magenta) and lime (tertiary color between yellow and green) are considered hot colors. Magenta, hot pink, red, orange, and yellow are all considered hot. Violet and lime are mild.
  • Cold – all colors with more green than lime or more blue than violet are considered cold. Green, turquoise, cyan, sky blue, and blue are all considered cold.
  • Neutral – all colors where the red, green, and blue values are completely equal.

Let’s re-open the quaternary color strength. Like the RYB model, a strong quaternary color is closer to the primary color as a weak quaternary color is closer to a secondary color. So let’s say that the saturation is 100% and the value is 50%. In order to be a tertiary color, the intermediate color must be 128. If the intermediate color is less than 128, we have a strong quaternary color. As it keeps going down, it may reach a pure primary color. If the intermediate is greater than 128, we have a week quaternary color. As it keeps going up, it may reach a pure secondary color.

The last subject on the hue property on the RGB model is color families. Each color is part of one family based on how dominant or recessive one color is:

  • No pure primary color is part of a secondary color family.
  • No secondary color is part of a prime color family.
  • Red family – colors where red is the dominant color.
  • Yellow family – colors where blue is the recessive color.
  • Green family – colors where green is the dominant color.
  • Cyan family – colors where red is the recessive color.
  • Blue family – colors where blue is the dominant color.
  • Magenta family – colors where magenta is the recessive color.

Value:

The difference between changing value on the RYB model and RGB model is that the colors on the RGB value increase in respect to each other. It is much easier on the HSV model than the RGB model (which are the same colors, but different readings).

To make a tint of a color with saturation of 100%:

  • In a primary color, the dominant color is always 255. The recessive colors always have the same value. A tint is stronger when both recessive colors go up.
  • In a secondary color, both dominant colors are always 255. A tint is stronger when the recessive color goes up.
  • In a tertiary or quaternary color, the dominant color is always 255. The ratio between the intermediate color and recessive color is always the same no matter what the difference is. The intermediate color goes up more slowly than the recessive color during an increase in value, depending on how strong the quaternary color is.
  • The strength of a tint is determined on how much the recessive color has:
    • Weak tint – recessive color is less than 128.
    • Medium tint – recessive color is 128.
    • Strong tint – recessive color is greater than 128.

To make a shade of a color with a saturation of 100%.

  • In a primary color, the recessive colors are always 0. A shade is stronger when the dominant color goes down.
  • In a secondary color, the recessive color is always 0. The dominant colors always have the same value. A shade is stronger when both dominant colors go down.
  • In a tertiary or quaternary color, the recessive color is always 0. The ratio between the intermediate color and dominant color is always the same no matter what the difference is. The intermediate color goes down more slowly than the dominant color during a decrease in value, depending on how strong the quaternary color is.
  • The strength of a shade is determined on how much the dominant color has:
    • Weak shade – dominant color is greater than 128.
    • Medium shade – dominant color is 128.
    • Strong shade – dominant color is less than 128.

Saturation:

The RGB version of intensity is saturation. This time, there’s only one neutral color – gray. The saturation of RGB is dependent on how far the dominant and recessive colors are from each other. A 100% bright color has the dominant color being 255 or the recessive color being 0. When the recessive color(s) get(s) greater than 0 while the dominant color(s) get(s) less than 255, the saturation decreases. The closer the values are, the grayer the color is. It is completely neutral when all three colors have the same value.

Back to the strength of a color again:

  • Absolute bright – saturation is 100%. Either the dominant color is 255 or the recessive color is 0.
  • Strong tone – saturation is greater than 50%. The difference between the dominant and recessive colors is greater than the median.
  • Medium tone – saturation is 50%. The difference between the dominant and recessive colors is the median.
  • Weak tone – saturation is less than 50%. The difference between the dominant color and recessive colors is less than the median.
  • Neutral – saturation is 0%. All three colors are the same.

And that concludes the color property facts.

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