Colour Theory and Theorists – Itten – Colour Contrasts
Johannes Itten developed a colour wheel consisting of twelve colours in which he separated into three categories: three primary colours, three secondary and six tertiary colours.
Primary Colors are the building blocks for all other hues, and cannot be created by mixing any other pigments. They are blue, yellow, and red.
Secondary Colors are each created from two of the primaries. They are orange, green, and violet.
Tertiary Colors are formed by mixing a primary and secondary color. They are yellow-green, yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, and blue-green.
Itten also created varied color combinations by using the hue’s contrasting properties and developed the ‘seven methodologies’ as below.
THE CONTRAST OF SATURATION
Contrast of saturation The contrast is formed by the juxtaposition of light and dark values and their relative saturation.
THE CONTRAST OF LIGHT AND DARK
Contrast of light and dark The contrast is formed by the juxtaposition of light and dark values. This could be a monochromatic composition.
THE CONTRAST OF EXTENSION
Contrast of Extension Also known as the Contrast of Proportion. The contrast is formed by assigning proportional field sizes in relation to the visual weight of a color.
THE CONTRAST OF COMPLEMENTS
Contrast of complements The contrast is formed by the juxtaposition of color wheel or perceptual opposites.
Simultaneous contrast The contrast is formed when the boundaries between colors perceptually vibrate. Some interesting illusions are accomplished with this contrast.
THE CONTRAST OF HUE
Contrast of hue The contrast is formed by the juxtaposition of different hues. The greater the distance between hues on a color wheel, the greater the contrast.
THE CONTRAST OF HUE – PRIMARIES
itten’s contrast of hue – primaries The contrast is formed by the juxtaposition of primary hues.
THE CONTRAST OF WARM AND COOL
Contrast of warm and cool The contrast is formed by the juxtaposition of hues considered ‘warm’ or ‘cool.’