We could create entire courses just about colors, but this lesson includes the essential theory and a couple of exercises for you to help you learn.
Color theory was first mentioned in the 1400s in writings by Leone Battista Alberti and Leonardo da Vinci. The "official" theory was theorized by Sir Isaac Newton in the 18th century when he wrote the theory about color and nature of the primary colors in 1666. As a part of his theory, he developed a circular diagram of colors.
Newton discovered that pure white light like sunlight is composed of colors made visible by directing a light beam through a prism. The light then separates into the same progression of colors that can be found in a natural rainbow. He identified that there are seven main colors: yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, red, and orange.
Biologically we see colors when light is reflected from objects in different combinations of wavelengths, and our brains translate those wavelengths into colors.
Color theory is a set of rules and guidelines that are used to create the visual material that is appealing. It explains how humans perceive color; and the visual effects of how colors mix, match, or contrast with each other. A modern color wheel is made of 12 main colors and is designed so no matter what colors you pick from it, they look good together.
Let's try making our own color wheel using digital drawing software. The demonstration video was made using Krita, but you can use other software if you like. During this exercise, you will notice that digital colors act very differently from traditional colors, like watercolors.
Tähän tulee video, joka on haettava Risestä.
Let's start with the primary colors and try mixing them. Add red, yellow, and blue with 100% opacity, and then try mixing them with the brush set at 50% opacity. Didn't work as expected, right? The software doesn't have the need to mix colors the traditional way, as you can pick any color you want. So how do you create a color wheel in software like Krita?
Make a circle selection and fill it with any color you want, we are going to color over it anyway. Then right-click over the layer that has the circle. Go to the group and choose the quick clipping tool. This way we don't have to worry about coloring over lines of the circle.
Add six colors evenly: blue, red, yellow, green, orange, and violet. Then start blending the colors until you get a complete color wheel, or rather a color circle. You can clear the middle at the end, to get the wheel.
As you notice, the digital colors work very differently, but the color theory stays the same. Artists should know how colors work in the digital and traditional workspace in order to create eye-pleasing and wonderful art, be it a game character or a landscape.
Colors appear appealing when they are set in certain combinations to create pleasing contrasts and consonances. In art, colors are meant to keep the viewers' interest for as long as possible and communicate certain moods. When designing an image with character or landscape, using color harmony will bring the image alive and add more interest to it.
Below are the main color harmonies presented, flip the cards to learn their names.
Colors can impact a person's mood and opinion and even affect their decision-making. Red color oftentimes means stop and green the opposite. Some colors can make us feel calmer while some give us mental energy. Sometimes colors combined with simple images can be the only way to communicate with others if there is a language barrier.
RGB colors are used in electronics, like TVs, computer screens, and projectors. If your art is going to be in a videogame or you're making an animation, use RBG colors.
CMYK is used in the printing media as CMYK can produce a wider variety of colors on paper than RGB. So. if you are going to print the image, work with CMYK colors from the beginning and make test prints to see how the colors actually look.
Are you comfortable with choosing colors now? Remember, they all carry different meanings, so choose wisely! Next, let’s focus on perspective.