Characteristics of a Color
- Hue: the dimension of color that defines its place on the color wheel. In other words, what we perceive as different "colors" (red, violet, blue, and so on).
- Value: the lightness or darkness of a color.
- Saturation (aka "chroma"): how intense or muted the color appears.
The Inter-Society Color Council at the National Bureau of Standards provides a system for standardization of color designations based on Munsell color notation. Most of us don't need to be that specific.
As a practical first step to applying these principles, determine your dominant color characteristic. Ask yourself, what is most noticeable about my coloring? A very fair-skinned blonde might be noticed first for the lightness of her personal coloring, thereby making value her most obvious color characteristic. The warm (orange) coloring of a red-head may dominate, while someone else may be most obviously muted or intense.
More later on using color to create harmony and contrast. Questions?