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Asking my students at RISD to create a color chart often induces groans of discomfort. Mostly because it sounds too much like math. But creating a chart is an easy way to learn and remember color combinations. One way to develop a chart is to create a grid in the formation of a times table. Start with a wide variety of colors on a side of the chart and repeat the same across the top, then combine them in equal amounts for each color. This kind of chart gives a clear array of options for deciding on possible pallets.
Another kind of chart could involve a combination of two colors, with full saturation of yellow on this end and full saturation of blue on the other. Each color decreasing in quantity or percentage as it moves in the opposite direction. This could help when deciding on what kind of secondary colors two primaries might make or the crossing of two compliments. A simple chart for tracking all the combinations of a set of primaries could look like this, very much like a family tree. A value scale chart establishes a color from its darkest to its lightest version, and can be made with either a transparent color using a white background, to determine the value, or a white pigment, to lighten the color.
The chart also shows the difference between opaque, transparent, and translucent color. Combining a complement. Mixing the other 2 primaries in varying amounts, or mixing black into a color are a variety of ways to make a chart that demonstrates color neutralization. This chart shows the variety of colors that, just like the first chart, but using glazes of transparent, translucent, and opaque color for the combinations. Charting colors is a means to an end.
Its purpose is to help you know how to make, see, and remember colors. And have a point of reference as you work on your project. Because human beings aren't especially good at remembering colors, a chart to look at when you're working can be essential. If you don't believe me try taking the color memory test at the end of the course.
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