KEY to The Brights Color Chart
Many of you have asked for the "KEY" to my color charts. First of all, know that this is by no means a complete color chart, nor is it the only way to put one together.
This only serves as a starting place for the colors I mix using my limited palette. This particular chart I refer to as "The Brights." The other charts will be described in a future post.
If you click on the "KEY" image, it should open in another window for easier viewing.
I'm sure you can come up with a better plan than I for doing this. Have fun mixing!
1. Mixtures that are shown with a color dividing each section
Primaries and Secondaries are indicated in BOLD. Notice that the secondaries are equal parts of the primaries of which they are made.
Each primary and secondary has been mixed with the colors immediately on either side of it. For instance, in the first block of yellow, yellow has green on one side and orange on the other. Each is mixed using the main color mostly dominant followed by two steps of tinting out with white. (Note: The main color is listed first in each mixture. Each time I started with the main color and add only a touch of the other. This is called "bending" the color. If you saw someone in the mall with a shirt on, you would still describe the color as this main color... i.e. yellow, not orange, and certainly not as a neutral like gold, khaki, tan, etc.). All of this is illustrated in columns directly on either side of the main color.
The last, and fourth column is the most confusing. In the case of a primary, this column is used to mix the main colors adjacent colors together and tint each out with white. Again, using yellow as the example, green and orange are mixed together then tinted out with white. In the case of a secondary color, however, this column is used to mix the main color with the only remaining color on the chart with which it has not previously been mixed. Take a look at the section of orange for example. The fourth column mixed orange with violet, the only color on the chart which has not otherwise been used.
If I had really huge place to have done this, the chart would not have, for example, the section blocked off in red continued below. Instead, I would run the all of the colored sections in a straight line. But, space being as it was, this is how I worked it out.
2. Mixtures that are shown with a gray background
These are just a few examples showing the difference between mixing each of the main colors with a neutral gray and white verses mixing the main colors with their respective complements and white.
Again, basically, I'm frugal, so although these make little sense in this particular layout, I was just using left over space on my canvas panel. In a perfect world, all of these sections would all be next to each other in a straight line.
3. Finally, the same neutral gray as just mentioned was placed inside a square of each of the main colors showing how differently each one looks in comparison. This demonstrates value and temperature and how all of this is relative. Notice, for example, how much darker and cooler the internal gray square appears when wrapped with yellow verses when the exact same gray square is wrapped with green, etc.
So I hope this helps. It's a difficult thing to describe in words when really I was just experimenting to begin with. Just trust that as long as YOU understand the way you put together a color chart, that is all that really matters.
If you are interested in some color exploration exercises, email me about how to order my booklet on "Exploring Color."
Thanks for playing!
For more on color charts, follow these links:
THE NEUTRALS color chart