5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2008 11:06 AM by Tvoliter

colo theory question

I know we are in an additive color system but I think it would be great to have a view of the traditional subtractive system to. So that the complementary of red would be green, the complementary of blu would be orange and so on... Actually I can't see this correspondance in kuler now.
• 1. Re: colo theory question
I'd say that you can see the complementary color effect in Kuler right now:

Go to Create, and try using the HSV middle Saturation slider. The color will move either toward the edge of the circle (full saturation, not 'grayed' by the complement), or toward the center (less or no saturation, being 'grayed' by its complement). Then, to see a'subtractive color mixing' effect, you should also work with the V(alue) slider, moving it to the left (darker value).

So: desaturate with the complement (S), AND reduce value (V). This yields colors like the effect I get with physical paints, when I take Alizarin Crimson and begin adding Thalo Green to it (I get a progressively 'grayer' crimson, ending up with a silver-black).
--Bill

• 2. Re: colo theory question
Thank you Bill for your answer, I got what you say but your approach is based on experience.
Let's say I have this orange: f55813, how would you determine the exact (there should be only one) complementary blue?
I know that on the color wheel I would move of 180 degrees and I would get the complementary hue value.
• 3. Re: colo theory question
I just now did the following:

- Kuler > Create
- entered your orange into middle box-the (important thing: wherever you enter it, is to also click 'Set as Base' (now the orange is the base color)

- select Complementary - you will see two value adjusted versions of your orange to the left, and two value complements (blues) to the right.

- I would say that the rightmost, brighter blue (13f5d9) is the true complement. (from examining where it is in terms of distance from the color wheel).

Also: once you have these blues, if you want to work on different value versions of that hue, be sure to click 'Custom' at this point- this will allow you to adjust a particular color without all other colors being affected (as they would be if you had complement, analogous, triad, shade, etc selected).

Hope that helps.
--Bill
• 4. Re: colo theory question
Thank you Bill
the all issue maybe is about the color system we are using. the additive one consider 4 primary color the substractive one just 3. the all thing is about this
• 5. Re: colo theory question
Color harmony is largly independent of the color model used to describe how a specific color is represented. A color model like CMYK, RGB, HSB, LAB, is just a numeric system for representing a single color. If a color is in the gamuts of all these systems then the color would appear same in each system even though the numbers to represent it would be different. If you are mixing paint, there is certainly theory on how complimentary colors combine, but for computing color harmonies numerically, it is mostly based on hue from HSB.

Kuler computes color harmonies in a modified HSB space. Whether you specify a color in RGB, LAB, or CMYK, Kuler converts this color to HSB and then computes the harmony. The HSB space is modified to make the traditional complimentary colors opposite of each other (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/violet). Many color harmony programs refer to this has "artistic color harmony". An unmodified HSB wheel would produce different compliments. This is often called teh scientific harmony wheel.