COLOR PURPLE

COLOR PURPLE

Tunnel Loop

Tunnel Loop

It was the year AD 975 when the word ‘purple’ first appeared in the English language. Purple is a range of hues of color occurring between red and blue. In additive light combinations it occurs by mixing the primary colors red and blue in varying proportions. It is a secondary color because two colors (blue and red) make up this color.

Kristan's Shoes

Kristan’s Shoes

In color theory, a ‘purple’ is defined as any non-spectral color between violet and red (excluding violet and red themselves).The spectral colors violet and indigo are not purples according to color theory but they are purples according to common English usage since they are between red and blue.

Color wheel

Color wheel

In art, purple is the color on the color wheel between magenta and violet and its tints and shades.

 

 

Royalty

Royalty

The color purple’s ties to kings and queens date back to ancient world, where it was prized for its bold hues and often reserved for the upper crust. The Persian king Cyrus adopted a purple tunic as his royal uniform, and some Roman emperors forbid their citizens from wearing purple clothing under penalty of death. Purple was especially revered in the Byzantine Empire. Its rulers wore flowing purple robes and signed their edicts in purple ink, and their children were described as being “born in the purple.”

The reason for purple’s regal reputation comes down to a simple case of supply and demand. For centuries, the purple dye trade was centered in the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre in modern day Lebanon. The Phoenicians’ “Tyrian purple” came from a species of sea snail now known as Bolinus brandaris, and it was so exceedingly rare that it became worth its weight in gold. To harvest it, dye-makers had to crack open the snail’s shell, extract a purple-producing mucus and expose it to sunlight for a precise amount of time. It took as many as 250,000 mollusks to yield just one ounce of usable dye, but the result was a vibrant and long-lasting shade of purple.

Happy combo colors

Happy combo colors

Clothes made from the dye were exorbitantly expensive—a pound of purple wool cost more than most people earned in a year—so they naturally became the calling card of the rich and powerful. It also didn’t hurt that Tyrian purple was said to resemble the color of clotted blood—a shade that supposedly carried divine connotations. The royal class’ purple monopoly finally waned after the fall of the Byzantine empire in the 15th century, but the color didn’t become more widely available until the 1850s, when the first synthetic dyes hit the market.

Lucite allows light to pass through

This Z-chair made in Lucite allows light to pass through creating value varieties

One interesting psychophysical feature of purple and violet that can be used to separate them is their appearance with increasing light intensity. As the intensity increases, violet appears to take on a far more blue hue as a result of what is known as the Bezold-Brücke shift. The same increase in blueness is not noted in purples.

Lüscher says about violet, The mentally mature will normally prefer one of the basic colors rather than violet. Basic being red, blue and yellow. The mentally and emotionally immature on the other hand, may prefer violet. He goes on to say, in the case of 1600 pre-adolescent school children, 75% preferred violet. Statistics embracing Iranians, Africans and Brazilian Indians showed a marked preference for this color as compared with Euro-Caucasians.

Benjamin Moore colors

Benjamin Moore colors

Through my years in design, I have found that this statement is more cultural than emotional. In my old standby text, Interior Design and Decoration by Sherrill Whiton, in the chapter Psychology of Color, Psychologists maintain that color preferences are determined by geographical location, religion and socioeconomic background.

Common connotations of purple include royalty, imperialism, nobility, Lent, Easter, Mardi Gras.

Wikipedia is a great purple resource!

What are your thoughts on the color purple? Do you surround yourself with purple? Do you wear purple? Would you like purple hair, or a streak of purple hair?

THE COLOR PURPLE

THE COLOR PURPLE

Color circle superimposed on the spectral

It was the year AD 975 when the word ‘purple’ first appeared in the English language. Purple is a range of hues of color occurring between red and blue. In additive light combinations it occurs by mixing the primary colors red and blue in varying proportions. It is a secondary color because two colors (blue and red) make up this color.

In color theory, a ‘purple’ is defined as any non-spectral color between violet and red (excluding violet and red themselves).[2] The spectral colors violet and indigoare not purples according to color theory but they are purples according to common English usage since they are between red and blue.

Icon for the color purple

In art, purple is the color on the color wheel between magenta and violet and its tints and shades. This color, electric purple, is shown as an icon.

In human color psychology, purple is associated with royalty and nobility stemming from classical antiquity when Tyrian purple was only affordable to the elites. The Tyrian purple was derived from the secretion of a sea snail and only in meager amounts, enough to dye only the trim of a garment worn for ritual purposes. In nature the snails use the secretion as part of their predatory behavior and as an antimicrobial lining on egg masses. The snail also secretes this substance when it is poked or physically attacked by humans. Therefore the dye can be collected either by “milking” the snails, which is more labor intensive but is a renewable resource, or by collecting and then crushing the snails completely.

Mark Rothko yellow & purple

Common connotations of purple include royalty, imperialism, nobility, Lent, Easter, Mardi Gras. Let’s remember too, that the complement to purple is that famous “yellow.”

One interesting psychophysical feature of purple and violet that can be used to separate them is their appearance with increasing light intensity. As the intensity increases, violet appears to take on a far more blue hue as a result of what is known as the Bezold-Brücke shift. The same increase in blueness is not noted in purples.

Purple living room

Lüscher says about violet, The mentally mature will normally prefer one of the basic colors rather than violet. Basic being red, blue and yellow. The mentally and emotionally immature on the other hand, may prefer violet. He goes on to say, in the case of 1600 pre-adolescent school children, 75% preferred violet. Statistics embracing Iranians, Africans and Brazilian Indians showed a marked preference for this color as compared with Euro-Caucasians.

Dining room in purple

Through my years in design, I have found that this statement is more cultural than emotional. In my old standby text, Interior Design and Decoration by Sherrill Whiton, in Psychology of Color, Psychologists maintain that color preferences are determined by geographical location, religion and socioeconomic background.

What are your thoughts on the color purple? Do you surround yourself with purple? Do you wear purple?

Purple hair – give yourself a treat

Would you like purple hair, or a streak of purple hair?

WHITE – A PRACTICAL SOLUTION?

WHITE – A PRACTICAL SOLUTION?

Ingres’ Bather of Valpinςon

White can be blinding. White can disrupt your thinking. White can be tiresome. According to Faber Birren’s book “Color & Human Response,” white can be bleak, emotionless, sterile. K. Warner Schaie, in discussing the pyramid test in which wide assortments of colors are placed on black-and-white charts, noted that incidence of the use of white by schizophrenic patients was 76.6 percent as again 29.1 percent for supposedly normal persons. So anyone who places white first perhaps needs psychiatric attention. It would be better to dislike white, but here again few persons are encountered who so express themselves.

Ingres’ Bather of Valpinςon is the calm representation of Classical beauty in the human nude. Notice the varying shades of white in Ingres’ painting. White and light colored skin is, depending on the artist, a few chosen pigments  and white. Notice the white covering over the settee, there are other colors in it. Can you see them? There are hundreds of variations of white.

Then when is white a practical solution?

Untitled by Franz Kline, a canvas  covered in white variations

White for the artist. For the watercolor artist, white paint is not necessary. I have never used white in my watercolors, because you can lighten your colors with water. And, you can leave the white of the paper in your painting for the white areas.  For the oil or acrylic painter, mix the white into color to lighten, or for pastel, add color to white.

Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?  It isn’t hard, but you need more information if you use white in more than one color. White can make mud out of your paint. Pastel painters have scads and scads and scads of color sticks as do oil painters who have gazillion tubes of paint from the lightest to the darkest in almost every color. So why do you need white? It’s possible to use white in your mixes, especially if you add white to lighten only one color. If you add white to more than one color, it can muddy up your work, the same as cadmium yellow can. We talked about cad yellow in last week’s blog with David Dunlop. More mixing meant less light bounced back to the eye and resulted in a weak color effect. Mixing opaque colors together is called subtractive mixing because it subtracts light. http://gailingis.com/wordpress/?p=2252.

Your intent was to lighten, but instead, it deadened. Deadened with

Sculpture in glass by Tony Cragg, All white sculpture, mixture of textures

opaque pigment. But it takes time to learn what makes beautiful mud. Yes, there is such a thing as beautiful mud. You always want your colors to be rich, to glow, to evoke emotion. To confuse the issue, white comes in several variations, some of which are: Flake White, Ivory White, Zinc White, Titanium White and the combo of Zinc White and Titanium White. The properties of these paints vary.

According to Ralph Mayer’s The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques, Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated, titanium pigment has the greatest opacity and tinctorial power of any of the whites. Titanium is the most important opaque white pigment in current use. An extremely dense, powerful opaque white of high refractive index and great hiding power. Absolutely inert, permanent.  Flake White is stiff, and Ivory White is fluid, both are semi-opaque and good for touching-up and mixing. According to Winsor & Newton, Zinc is less opaque, making it ideal for tints and glazing, however, it dries to a brittle film that can crack.

White room, varied whites and mixture of textures

White for your home/office. The everlasting question to me as an interior designer is, “should I paint my kitchen white?” My answer is always, “NO.” Not pure white. If your preference is to make it look bright and clean and you think white is the answer, here’s mine. Paint your walls off-white, like Benjamin Moore’s 966 or 969 (I call them greige, 969 is the lighter of the two), or something with a little more pizzazz, like BM’s 860 that is in-between white and gray. The finish on the walls should be Eggshell finish. Ceiling, super white flat. All the trim can be a bright semi-gloss white. Now the room has that sparkle you are looking for and stays clean for years. And, you can have your white cabinets, but in Benjamin Moore’s Dove White. Never use pure white on a large expanse of space like the walls, cabinets, or floors. With these combinations, you have contrasting surfaces and varying textures giving your kitchen interest as well as beauty.

Can you see the correlation between white for art and white for the home? Did you discover the white you never knew? What does white mean to you?

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest