The Space Between My Peers: Characteristics of a Color

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Characteristics of a Color

In applying artistic principles to one's visual appearance, it is beneficial to understand the properties of color. They are:

  • 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?


Blogger Beth said...

I've noticed a trend in my wardrobe recently toward colors with a lot of yellow in them. The greens I am wearing are yellow-green; I am wearing more orange too. I never wear straight yellow. But I have noticed a lot of yellow in my kid's eyes (esp. Athena's) and wonder if perhaps I have a lot of yellow too. Even my hip green eyeglasses are backed with a yellowy tortoishell. I have developed an aversion to ashy greens.

The other color I wear alot is garnet, which looks great with all the greens.


8:47 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Unlikely that your most noticeable color characteristic is yellow, that would be rare indeed. Your preference for yellowish hues may have to do with your highlighted hair, color trends, or something else.

Garnet. Definitely a keeper. That color looks good on most brown-eyed people.

11:09 PM  

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