color me chevreul

Happy Groundhog day everyone!  Spring is just around the corner!  I'm so happy for that!  Today I'm working on a large chunk of the writing for my thesis in a chilly apartment that is trying hard to zap my energy.  Lucky for me I am more in love with color than I can have the cold influence me, and I have a nice little space heater.

Above are images made by Michel Eugene Chevreul in 1839 that were part of his ground breaking book at the time, De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs, 1839; (the 1854 English translation is titled The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors). Although he was not the first to write about contrasting colors, he was the first to name the categories of color that are still used today: hue, saturation, and value.  Hue allows us to name the color, such as red or green, yellow or violet, blue or yellow, just to name a few basics.  Saturation pertains to the amount of gray in a color.  Value is the amount of light and dark.  Adjusting the H S V scales in the color box in Photoshop will bring a greater understanding of hue, saturation, and value.

An example, blue is the name of a hue of a color.  In one of its purest and natural forms it is Ultramarine.  If I were to mix paints and wanted the blue to shift in value, to a baby blue, it would have less value as it would have more lightness.  It could also become Midnight Blue where the value of it would shift darker.  If the color were to have gray added I might then call this color Blue heron, as it might look like a Blue Heron.

It is in understanding the small differences in color, and in life that bring about the opportunity for space, change, and flexibility of the options at any given time.