Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Color Dimensions and CPs

The information in this post comes from a great book, The Colored Pencil by Bet Borgeson. Basically, this post contains my notes on chapter four, "Mixing Colors". I'm sure that I've read this information in other sources, but this was the first time I had seen it presented in such a useful way. In fact, I know it will be useful and that's why I've posted it - as much for my future reference as for yours! :-)

There are three "dimensions" to color: hue, value, and intensity. Hue is just the name of the color, say blue. Value is the lightness and darkness of the color - white with a drop of blue on one end, and as close to black as you can achieve while still being blue on the other end. Intensity "describes the purity of a color in terms of its brightness or dullness." On one end of the intensity scale you would have "vivid" blue, on the other "dull or unaggressive" blue.

Here are Bet's suggestions for changing these dimensions with CPs:
To Change Hue:
  • Layering two or more pencils
  • Optical mixing - joining two or more pencils by placing them side by side
To Change Value:
  • Change pencil pressure
  • Overlay with white or black - overlaying a light valued pencil with white will not be very effective, overlaying with black can be deadening
  • Overlay with lighter or darker color
To Lose Intensity:
  • Overlay with neutral gray - won't change hue, will only slightly change value, but will produce "loss of color"
  • Overlay with black - suitable for dark colors
  • Overlay with complement
  • Thoroughly combining with two adjacent colors on color wheel
To Increase Intensity:
  • Loosely combining with two adjacent colors on color wheel
  • Increase pencil pressure
  • Overlay with white, then overlay with original color again
  • Using a solvent - most dramatic changes in intensity come with solvent
Above you see my efforts to understand exactly what she means. I've never really understood intensity...I thought this might help, not really sure that it did, but knowing I don't know is at least knowing something :-).

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