How to talk about Color

How to talk about Color

Posted by Debra Walland on

We know what color is when we see it.  How do you describe it?  Here is some of the vocabulary that might help.

HUE- Color is the general term, hue is nearly synonymous with color....what is on the color wheel. The true color with nothing added. Yellow is yellow on the wheel, not what is in a dye. CHROMA is the saturation of color, the brightness. Yellow on the wheel is very bright, but so is blue. These are described as HIGH CHROMA. There are no other colors like white, gray, or black to decrease the chroma. Black, white and gray are not referred to as hues.

TONE- adding a little neutral color to lower the chroma. We use gray or khaki drab or the color opposite the color on the wheel to take the chroma down. Think of high chroma as the small box of crayons. Lower chroma are the other rayons they put in the bigger box of crayons. Lowering the chroma, or "Toning it down", doesn't change the Value or tint (next).

TINT- Lighter a pastel. Artists add white to the color. When we dye, we add less color (dye) to the wool. It all comes out the same, in rug hooking we refer to values. These are the values that are lighter than the color wheel, usually Values 1-3 or 4. It is the same color as the color on the wheel only lighter.

SHADE- Really an artist's term. They add black to the color, We add dye. These are the dark values. It doesn't change the color, it just makes the color darker. This photo of an umbrella is from Shirley Williams, an artist, who has a blog about color. The colors have been shaded by lack of sunlight.  To replicate the effect, black would have to be added to each dye pot.

The second photo is my "GoTo" I is actually a quilters helper but it has 18 values of each color and tones "The Ultimate Color 3-in-1 Color Tool by Joen Wolfrom.


Hope this helps a little.


← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Hooked, Line and Sinker Club Blog

Gatherings General discussion

The Joy of Community

Debra Walland
By Debra Walland

Grateful.  After the misery of being alone or on line, we are nothing but thankful to have our rug hooking community together again.  Green Mountain...

Read more
Open for Business  - Fingers Crossed

Open for Business - Fingers Crossed

Debra Walland
By Debra Walland

Today is a beautiful summer day.  Sunny, warm.  The university near me is graduating the class of 2022 and joy is in the air.  We...

Read more