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Color Theory Essay

966 words - 4 pages

Color theory or the study of the effects of color and the mixing of colors has been in existence since the time of Plato and Aristotle. The notebooks of Leonardo DaVinci and the writings of Leone Battista Alberti make mention of color theory principles during the 1400's. (wikipedia)

With each advance in thought, technology and visual arts has come either an expansion of color theory or a innovate new approach.

Theorist Charles Hayter (1761-1835) made a major contribution in proposing a triangle of the basic colors red, yellow and blue from which all other colors could be created. A major leap from the mere mixing of colors came about with the studies of Micheal Eugene Chevruels ...view middle of the document...

In his studies he showed how the two values are separate because either bright or dark color could become less intense in grades or 'neutralized' toward the grayer end of their own spectrum. (Romp 100)

Johannes Itten (1888-1967) devised a method for coordinating colors based on the hue's contrast and proportion when placed beside others. His theory was that our eyes perceive a visual mix which can differ based on the proportion of the colors or their contrast. (Worqx)

In Josef Albers theorem he used large, flat geometric planes of color to demonstrate optical color effects and contrast. With certain color combinations and proportions of color causing certain sensations already given as part of basic color theory, he further proved that certain optical effects or vibrations could be observed when saturated hues of similar value or intensity were close to each other with distinct dividing lines between them. This also proved that even colors which were not complimentary on the color wheel could exhibit this glowing or vibrating effect. Albers also showed how the illusion of depth and space could be accomplished by placing a dark square within a successive series of lighter and larger squares. Observing this examples of this test does create what most artists know as a line of perspective, thus creating a sense of depth and distance.

Faber Birren (1900-1988) studied the effects of colors in art, the workplace and human psychology. His theory differed in that he believed it was not the direct influence of the color itself on human emotions, but rather our human perception of colors that had an effect. Birren further bolstered his theory by stating that introverted people were less emotionally affected by color as opposed to others who are more emotionally responsive, which shows that it is how we see...

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