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Color Me Naive



Colors play a huge role in the way we perceive the world. Without even realizing it, colors have the ability to evoke emotions and trigger certain reactions. When artists create, they choose their colors wisely because they know how much weight such hues carry.

Primary Colors

Primary colors are known as basic colors because they cannot be created by mixing other hues. Since humans are trichromatic, the primary colors yellow, red, and blue are fundamental to human vision. Primary colors are the building blocks of all other colors.
Complimentary Colors

Complimentary colors are one color from the color wheel, and the mixing of the two left colors together. For example, red's complimentary color is green, blue's complimentary color is orange, and yellow's complimentary color is purple. A painting or work of art that relies on complimentary colors will have the strongest contrast. The color palette will draw the most attention and is extremely pleasing to the eye.
Did you know?
•    It is no coincidence that firetrucks and stop signs are RED. The color has the longest wavelength amongst all colors in the visible spectrum, meaning that it can be spotted best from a distance.

•    The farther away an object is, the more BLUE it often appears to the eye. For example, mountains in the distance often appear blue. This is the effect of atmospheric perspective.

•    In Asia YELLOW is the color of power – the emperors of China where the only ones allowed to wear sunshine-colored robes.


Dan Chill, GINA – Gallery of International Naïve Art
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