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Color Theory

STRONG COLOR--3 primaries used together--red, yellow, blue, green
      feeling: bold, carnival mood.

COLOR CONTRAST---two prinaries--red/blue, yellow/blue; red/green
     feeling: strong; high tension of action, movement and excitement.

COLOR HARMONY---only warm colors or only cool colors (adjacent ones)
     feeling: cool = peaceful, passive, solitary       warm = lazy, sadness, sleepness.

PREDOMINANT COLOR---one primary color
      yellow = optimistic (move you out like McDonalds)
      blue = reflective
      green = tranquillity
      red = strength and bold

MUTED COLOR---soft colors; no primaries--heading toward grey
     feeling:bleakness, tranquillity, romantic (slide saturation and blur)

HIGH KEY---mostly white, a lack of shadows
     feeling:soft, clean, delicate, lightness, purity

LOW KEY---mostly dark, dominated by shadows, strong highlights
     feeling:mysterious, evil, death, sensuous

ISOLATED COLOR---one primary color at the focal point
     feeling:alone, vitality, power, fresh

FALSE COLOR---common things in uncommon colors
     feeling:unreal, bizarre, dramatic

Thanks to Ken Bovat for this talk and information on color theory. His presentation of photos demonstrating the above color categories was wonderful. "If it doesn't fit a color category then change to black and white... Think how it looks in nature."


modified December 2009 by Donn