Art Term Tuesday – COLOR

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Today’s art term is COLOR. Along with line and shape, color is an Element of Art. 
Color is how our eyes see light reflected off an object.  Have you ever painted a room based on the little color chip from the paint store and thought, “This doesn’t look like the swatch!” We probably all have and I’ll save you from all the details of my Pepto-Bismol-esque bedroom color I choose in 11th grade.  Needless to say, it quickly got painted a much more subtle hue.
There are three characterstics of color: hue, or the name of a color (red, yellow, blue etc.), value (how light or dark a color is) and intensity (how bright or dull a color is).
From here we have groups of colors as well. The primary colors are the building block of all colors and cannot be made by mixing.  The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors are created when 2 primary colors are mixed together. The secondary colors are orange, green and purple.
Red mixed with yellow makes orange. Yellow mixed with blue makes green. Blue mixed with red makes purple.
Any color can be made light or dark, thus changing it’s value. A tint of a color is that color mixed with white. A shade of a color is that color mixed with black. The brightness or dullness of a color is it’s intensity. A pure hue has a high-intensity. Low-intensity color is a color mixed with its complement.
Wassily Kandinsky, a renowned Russian painter and art theorist, believed that colors communicate various emotional qualities in the viewer. For example Kandinsky thought yellow was warm, exciting, and happy while blue was deep and peaceful.  Green represented stillness and nature while red was glowing and alive.
Kandinsky once said, “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”
Look at this Kandinsky entitled Composition IV painted in 1911 and tell me what you hear!

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