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Submitted on
July 18, 2009
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The Theory by Bobbyperux The Theory by Bobbyperux

First of a series of posters I´m working on. Orginal size is A3.

The Color Theory

The foundations of pre-20th-century color theory were built around “ pure” or ideal colors, characterized by sensory experiences rather than attributes of the physical world. This has led to a number of inaccuracies in traditional color theory principles that are not always remedied in modern formulations.

he most important problem has been a confusion between the behavior of light mixtures, called additive color, and the behavior of paint or ink or dye or pigment mixtures, called subtractive color. This problem arises because the absorption of light by material substances follows different rules from the perception of light by the eye.

Many historical “ color theorists” have assumed that three “ pure” primary colors can mix all possible colors, and that any failure of specific paints or inks to match this ideal performance is due to the impurity or imperfection of the colorants. In reality, only imaginary “ primary colors” used in colorimetry can " mix" or quantify all visible (perceptually possible) colors; but to do this the colors are defined as lying outside the range of visible colors: they cannot be seen.

Any three real “ primary” colors of light, paint or ink can mix only a limited range of colors, called a gamut, which is always smaller (contains fewer colors) than the full range of colors humans can perceive.

© 2009 Roberto Abril Hidalgo | |

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ronbaird88 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
very well stated and true! However when painting, weather digitally or traditionally. a gamut is very useful! it teaches color relations rather than matching color for color in real life and induces color harmony and mood. A mistake many artists make (myself included) is arbitrary color picking which usually results in your painting looking garish. what colors you exclude from a painting is just as important as what you include.
morteza-lotfi Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
nice job
Aspartam Featured By Owner May 30, 2011
Ah ! As a photographer and digital artist, I was perfectly aware of the physical realities of color mix, additive and subtractive. So it frustrated me to no end when I took painting lessons about colors - hoping to learn the technically of producing precise shades with paint- and the lessons were about this theorical color circle and primaries mix that is so inaccurate. Plus, the lessons took place under artificial fluorescent lightning, that is a poor light with a deficient spectrum.
Your poster is graphically interesting but also I hope it will diffuse the knowledge about real color theory, useful for everyone of us.
Something else I find also very interesting is subjective perception of colors ; the proximity of a color to another can change it in the mind and perception.
There is also the cultural feeling about colors. As artist we ought to have a solid knowledge about all tree aspects of colors...Physical truth, subjective perception by the eyes, mind-cultural associations.
Nokadota Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Professional General Artist
Fantastic work man.
minimalminds Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010
Genial!!! me encanta!
Bobbyperux Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
Ostia cuanto tiempo! Q tal todo? :)
aliather Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
eN-1 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2010
really cool
Palgie Featured By Owner May 10, 2010
Superb work, is there a specific name for the diagram you used or sources of inspiration? I see some of these around the web but cant find any information the actual diagrams :( ?
Are-You-Okay Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2010
This is great.
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