Saturday, February 21, 2009

Color perception

Color Perception

Color perception is fascinating.

In my current residency, I have a student that is color blind. It made my hopes of a clean watercolor palette pretty hopeless for that particular paint set but did result in some interesting color mixes. It also means that he is much more likely to produce mud on his page. The good news is that he is still happy with what he's painting.

I have a friend that is color blind in one eye. Her sense of values is impeccable but she admitted that it was only about five years ago that she understood what certain colors - like lavender - were. But once she realized which eye had which color perception, she learned to use it to her advantage. Her artwork is breath-taking.

Artistically, I need to understand how colors work together. Professionally, my color-sight (the way my eye and brain process color) will affect any art I produce. And don't get me started on the "individual monitors will vary" thing. I usually work on dual flat screens and even though they are identical monitors, I have a photo-favorite for color editing.

Personally, I know what colors I like to wear. I know which colors are my favorites to look at (orange and deep blues). I know which colors can lift my mood (love the amber-tinted sunglasses) or make me feel slightly nauseous (did you know there are several distinct ways that people pronounce "mauve"?)

Here's a color IQ quiz that tests your hue perception abilities. It's fun and you can compare your score to your age/gender demographic if you are a competitive sort of person:

I got an 11. How did you do? (Not that I'm competitive or anything...)

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