Understanding Color Properties

Every color has three unique properties. When you are finding colors that suit you, you are looking for those colors that replicate your natural color properties. The first property is VALUE. The lightness to darkness of the color. You can change a color from it’s natural pure hue by tint, which is adding white, or shade, which is adding black. Some colors are naturally light in value, such as yellow. Some are deep in value, such as indigo. The next property is UNDERTONE. This is how warm or cool the undertone of the color appears. Colors have both overtones and undertones. Overtone is how we describe the color psychologically. We describe yellow, orange and red as warm because they relate to things that make us feel hot, such as the sun and fire. We describe blue and green as cool, as they relate to things that make us feel cool, such as water or cool lush foliage that shades us from the sun. The undertone of the color is how the color is created when mixing colors to create that unique hue. Every color, except orange, can have a warm or cool undertone by adding yellow or blue. INTENSITY is the final property. The intensity of a color is all about the saturation and brightness of it. It may be pure and bright, with little or no grey added or a tone. The brighter the color, the more advancing it appears. The more muted or toned down the color, the softer and smokier and more receding it appears. So when you are selecting colors to wear, if you discover your own color properties and work with them, you will find that the colors harmonize with you.
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Overtone vs Undertone by imogenl

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