The Dimensions of Color (3 Things You Need To Know)

the dimensions of color

I think you’ll agree…

Color is important for artists 🙂

But did you know that understanding the properties of color can make a big difference to your art practice? 

Sounds a bit boring right? Well… I used to have a hard time getting the right colors in my paintings and spent ages mixing paints to get it right!  It was so frustrating! But when I learned about certain color properties, everything changed. Suddenly, I could mix colors more easily, and my paintings started to look so much better. It made the whole process a lot more fun and rewarding! 

Here’s the thing I realized…

The reason why I couldn’t get the right colors in my paintings wasn’t really because I was bad at mixing paints or lacked talent. It was because I hadn’t learned about “the dimensions of color”.

Understanding these dimensions helps with things like mixing colors more accurately, choosing your paint colors, understanding color harmony, and more…

And all you need to do is get to know three simple color properties …

What are The Dimensions of Color?

There are three dimensions of color that allow us to describe color appearance accurately. They are:

  • Hue
  • Chroma
  • Value

Just as physical dimensions (length, width, height) describe the size and shape of an object, the “dimensions” of color describe its properties and how we perceive it.

It gives us a more accurate vocabulary for describing colors in art 🙂

You’ve probably heard these terms at different times along your artistic journey. But the combination of these three things fully captures the characteristics or attributes of a color.

So now you’re probably wondering what these things actually mean…

Understanding Hue (The Color’s family)

So… You know when you look at a color and instantly know it’s red, green, or whatever? Well, that’s what artists call “hue.” It’s basically the thing that makes each color unique and recognizable.

Hue refers to the aspect of color that we usually describe with names like red, blue, green, etc.

hue and the dimensions of color

Chroma: The Intensity of Color

Chroma is the intensity or saturation of a color. It describes how bright and vibrant a color appears. High chroma means the color is vivid and intense, while low chroma means the color is more muted or grayish.

chroma and the dimensions of color

Value: The Lightness and Darkness of Color

Simply put, value is the lightness or darkness of a color. It’s crucial for creating depth and contrast in your artwork. In watercolors we adjust value by diluting or thickening the paint mixture, or by layering colors on top of each other using a glazing technique.

value and the dimensions of color

The Secret to Using the Dimensions of Color in Art…

Understanding hue, chroma, and value allows us to precisely describe and mix colors to achieve a desired result.

Now that you understand what these “dimensions” of color are. You can use them to mix any color with a simple three-step process:

  1. Identify the target hue
  2. Adjust the chroma
  3. Change the value

Ever found yourself struggling to recreate the exact shade you envisioned? If you begin by pinpointing the correct hue you’ll have the best starting point for mixing any color

Chroma comes into play when aiming for vivid colors or toning down a color mixture. You can adjust chroma, for instance, by adding complementary colors when mixing paints.

And the values of any color are controlled in watercolor painting by adjusting the water-to-paint ratio. Diluting the paint lightens the tonal value.

Using the dimensions of color in this order when mixing paint vastly improves your success rate for color mixing 🙂

…This is just a small part of what I teach in my new “Successful Color Mixing” course. 

Through years of trial and error, I’ve developed a system that changed my approach to color mixing. In this new course I’ll show you how to quickly and easily mix colors using my simple color maps system. 

“Successful Color Mixing in Seconds Using Color Maps!”

Need More Help? Share your color-related struggles in the comments… I’ll personally help you find solutions 🙂

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *