31 July, 2008
Color Intensity and Space
Intensity was my self selected assignment for the two month color study that Katherine Tyrrell has been posting about. Here is what I found out about intensity, and how it relates to the elusive color space theories.
Consider me a convert to the linear color space proposed by Da Vinci. The reasons are that the spectrum lays out in a linear fashion when you view it through a prism, and that my actual palette is arranged in a line.
Also, I understand that violet cannot be produced in the additive system except by blending, and that red violet inhabits a pole opposite blue violet on the spectrum. I know that sounds horribly brainy and hopelessly immaterial to the pastelist. Let's just say that the visual perception side of the house teaches me that light is a dominant reason for intensity in color.
Put plainly, your eye sees wavelengths at their highest meter and this represents greatest intensity. See this page about wavelengths and color. Need it plainer? See this page.
High key (more intense) blue is the peak of its wavelength, and so is high key green. I understood this intuitively before I knew the why of it, and made a special place in my palette for high key green. Later, I organized the blues by key as well.
I like Marie Meyer's use of the Munsell system as a number space, since their is a linear aspect to the numbered hues. Although the Munsell is a cylinder, I like seeing the linear description better. But, I find Munsell too abstract, and apropos to the additive people. My own color space will always be subtractive and pigment mixture based.