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The Color Definition in Art

what is color?

In the most basic explanation, color is a result of reflected or absorbed light, which occurs in wavelengths. This light reaches photoreceptors in our eyes called rods and cones, which then allows us to see the specific color.

WHAT IS color in art?

The elements of art are commonly grouped as seven, but some art sources will explore them as more. They are mainly comprised of color, value, texture, space, line, form, and shape.

the color wheel

When primary colors are combined differently, they will form the other colors, which are the secondary colors, namely, green, orange, and purple, which is also referred to as violet.

color schemes

Several color schemes emerge from different color combinations. While complementary and analogous are two of the well-known color schemes, there are also split-complementary and triadic, and others like square and tetradic.


Complementary colors are opposite or “across” one another. For example, red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. This also applies to all the tertiary colors that are also opposite/across each other.

color VALUE

Color value refers to the level of light or darkness of a color. It is determined when looking at a black and white image. This can also be viewed on what is referred to as a gradient or a grayscale.


The intensity in color is also usually referred to as “saturation” or “chroma”. This is commonly described as the “brightness or dullness” of a color.


The temperature here refers to some colors like reds or yellows that appear warmer and others like blue or green that appear cooler.


Color combinations can evoke feelings of joy or sadness. It can be utilized to create perspective or emphasis in paintings or graphic designs. Color can be bright or light or dark and gray – the possibilities are endless when it comes to color.