Color Basics

The Characteristics of Color In Basic Terms

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Color and Its Characteristics

The simple word “color” really hides its complex nature. In most non-art related dealings a single word or two is what we use to refer to the color of some object. And in that context it works just fine.

As an artist, it is important to be concerned with more than that simple wording.  To be able to understand and use color to best advantage in your paintings it is important to first understand the four characteristics of color. They are: hue, value, chroma and temperature.

Depending on what other books, instructors or color systems you see or heard, one of these – temperature – is sometimes not included as one of the characteristics. 

This lesson introduces the four characteristics of color and provides a simple explanation of each.

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