The Properties of Colour

Spring has arrived in Vancouver

The Cherry blossoms are blooming.

A symphony of green has appeared… Green leaves are budding on the various trees and bushes. Ever present mosses can be found at the base of many trees. Grasses are lush after a Winter of precipitation in our temperate rain forest. 

In celebration of Spring, let's look at the colour Green as we discuss the Properties of Colour...

Did you know that only one of these greens will truly suit you?

Ideally, these clothing items would not coexist in the same closet. Their effect on the wearer would be significantly different.

Each of these Greens finds its place in the Munsell Color System according to its location on the three scales of: hue, value and chroma. Our natural colouring also finds its place within the Munsell Color System.

When our colouring and the clothing we wear share the same characteristics of hue, value and chroma, we experience harmony. Conversely, when our colouring and the clothing we wear do not share the same characteristics, there will be varying degrees of disharmony. 

Hue - Value - Chroma

In the clothing examples below, we see comparisons of hue, value and chroma.

The name of the color as designated on the color wheel is its HUE.

Here the temperature of the hue (how warm or cool it is) changes from a relatively cool version of the hue (on the left) to a warmer one (on the right). One’s natural colouring determines the ideal ‘temperature’ setting of all the colours one wears best. For example, if a particular colour is too cool, it will cause the individual to look pale in comparison; wearing too warm a colour will cause one to look sallow.

In the second example, we observe a difference in VALUE. Value refers to the lightness or darkness of the hue. The dress on the left is of low value (a very dark colour). The dress on the right is of medium value (its darkness has been ‘tempered’ by the addition of a tiny bit of white). 

One’s natural colouring determines whether one looks best in colours of medium value or whether the contrast of high/low value colours harmonizes best with one’s colouring.

The CHROMA (brightness) of the dress on the left is relatively high. The colour has been slightly muted with the addition of some black. The chroma of the dress on the right is still higher since it’s not muted. Its colour remains clear and relatively bright. 

One’s natural colouring determines whether one looks best in muted colours or clear ones.

A Harmonious Wardrobe

Below, we see colours that would coexist in the same closet. Their effect on the wearer would be the same because they share the same three characteristics:

  • A consistent colour ‘temperature’ range between cool and warm (hue).
  • Rich deep colours and icy lights (value)
  • Vibrant colour that has been softened by the addition of black (chroma)

Colour and You

Most people focus on matching clothes with clothes, without factoring themselves into the equation

A person’s appearance is the product of the clothing placed on the body and the individual’s natural colouring (skin, hair, and eyes). Through Personal Colour Analysis, one’s natural colouration is analyzed to pinpoint one’s optimal harmony of colour in clothing and makeup. 

A powerful visual relationship is formed when there is an alignment between the natural colours of the body and the colours placed upon that body.

2 thoughts on “The Properties of Colour

  1. Glenda H. says:

    Can you tell us which green belongs to each season? The visual is beautiful, but I think it would help us all compare the various greens to know which season they are.

    • Elegance Colour Consulting says:

      Hi Glenda, I would be happy to. Keep in mind that due to the fact that every computer monitor has a different capability to display colors and/or may be calibrated differently, the colours you see displayed may vary slightly from what you would find in the seasonal colour fans. Top row from left to right: True Spring, Bright Spring, Bright Winter, True Winter, Dark Winter, Dark Autumn. Bottom row from left to right: Light Spring, Light Summer, True Summer, Soft Summer, Soft Autumn, True Autumn.

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