I am continuing on my trail towards colour solutions for the modern woman or man (any man who dares to stray from navy blue that is). Here are the previous blog entries 1 and 2 and 3. As I go on a discovery tour of any kind, I always imagine it a short one. It never is. There’s a combination of an overload of information on the net and a very inquisitive gene in me. So I dig myself deeper and deeper. I have done that again. In the last entry I delved into our undertones, the warm, the cool and the neutral. I was planning to move onto the 4 seasons next, keeping it short and sweet. Not so. This week I have learned that this ‘popular colour approach of the 80’s has been weighed and found wanting. We must go deeper into more complicated territory. So lets detour together and we will shortly come back to our 4 seasons winter, spring, summer and autumn.
Here is a portrait of the man whose fault it is that I am now even further entangled. Albert Munsell was an artist and a professor in art who desired to explain colour in a systematic and rational way. It is thanks to Munsell that we now understand the 3 characteristics of colour, hue, value and chroma. He published his system in 1905. If you use photoshop this all makes good sense and is no doubt quite familiar. If you don’t, hopefully it will at least make sense.
1. Hue – the actual colour of an object, like yellow, blue, green. Hue can be warm or cool, or some combination of the two. Yellow is warm, blue is cool, green is balanced.
2. Value – the lightness or darkness of a color. Light colors have tints of white added to it. Dark colors have some shade of black added to it.
3. Chroma – a color’s clarity or saturation or how clear or soft a colour is. A sunny Yellow would be considered fully saturated or clear. “Mustard” would be considered a muted Yellow. There is usually a heaviness or grayness added to a muted color.
So in short…..
HUE= Warm or Cool
VALUE=Light or Dark
CHROMA=Clear or Soft
We have gone from this
Deep…Dark and rich.
Light…Light and delicate.
Soft…Soft & muted.
Clear…Clear & bright.
Warm…No cool undertones.
Cool…No warm undertones.
Here’s an example of how to approach this. Let’s say your characteristic is deep. Now you’ll want to know what’s more flattering on you, warm or cool. If cool is more you then you are a Deep Winter. Deep being the most important characteristic means you can do some Deep Autumn as well. Let’s say you are a definite cool with no warm undertones, then you may be better in cool winter but could still do cool summer. If your characteristic is light you may feel better in light summer but also look great in light spring and so it goes.