Join Jim Krause for an in-depth discussion in this video Valuing value over all, part of Color for Design and Art.
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- Okay, listen. Put down your cell phone, put your texting on hold, close that Facebook window, and listen hard to what I have to say here. I'm going to talk about value, which in terms of color, is how light or how dark a color is. And I'm going to talk about why value is really, really important. Any color, as you may know, has three - and only three - components: hue, saturation, and value. Hue is just another word for color.
This robot's hues are from the blue-green family. And here's the robot without any hues going on. Just grays, in other words. Saturation refers to a color's intensity, meaning how bright or how muted it is. Right now the saturation of this robot's hue is highly intense. And here's one colored with less intensity and one that's strongly muted. In this case, the robot's hue is completely desaturated. And all that's left is gray.
Value is how light or how dark a color is. And value also applies to grays. Here, the robot's form has been expanded by using different values of gray. Now let's go ahead and replace these grays with light, medium, and dark shades of our blue-green. Now let me show you why there are two main reasons why value is the most important thing going on with any color. Number one, without value there can be no hue or saturation.
Right here, we have a full range of values in our illustration, from light to dark. And everything looks fine. And this illustration's values are mostly on the light side. And here, they're mostly darker. Each of these illustrations looks okay. But what happens when we lighten the values in all three of your robots to nothing? No values. Well, the robots disappear, that's what. No values equals no colors. No forms, no nothing. And that's the reason why value is priority number one when it comes to color.
Without value, there can be no color. And if I sound a little exasperated when I say this, it's cause I've read so many things and listened to so many people talking about this, arguing about why hue and saturation are just as important as value. I mean that's like saying, it's like saying the smell and the taste of a hamburger is just as important as the hamburger itself. I mean, yes they're all important - the smell, the taste, everything. But you can't even have the smell or the taste of the hamburger without the hamburger being there in the first place. Right? And you can't have hue or saturation without value being there in the first place, either.
All right. Moving on. Reason number two that value is critical when choosing colors is that value establishes visual clarity. Here's an image with good, clear, value structure. And here it is with weak, mushy value structure. Value tells the eye where one thing ends and another begins. It's as simple as that. The eye is designed to prioritize value differences to make sense of what it's looking at. Value's role in establishing visual clarity also applies to layouts.
Clear value differences between a layout's components are what allows them to stand apart from each other. And by the way, when you want to increase inferences of energy, consider not only applying a wide range of values to the layout's elements, but also amplifying the saturation of some or all of its colors. Hue, saturation, and value are each very important when it comes to choosing colors for layouts, illustrations, and photos. But while there's a lot of wiggle room in terms of what hues you apply and what levels of saturation you use, there's little or no wiggle room in terms of whether or not a piece's value structure is clear and concise.
it either is or it isn't. So value value above all when working with color.
Primarily aimed at designers and illustrators, the course leans heavily toward digital tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but concludes with some challenges using real-world media (inks and paints!), so members can get a solid understanding of mixing colors and what tools and combinations work best.
- Navigating the color wheel and color vocabulary
- Why a color's value is so important
- RGB vs. CMYK vs. spot
- Finding the perfect color
- Working with grays and browns
- Building a color palette
- Borrowing hues for palettes
- Establishing color hierarchies
- Fixing color problems
- Altering color in photos and illustrations
- Using texture with color
- Painting for learning and fun