Light and Color of House Painting
Light and Color of House Painting
COLOR is an attribute of light. In other phrase, color belongs to light, and in the absence of light all objects are black. The mind becomes conscious of color because of the eye, and without that organ there can be no intelligent comprehension of the sensation which color causes. To assert that light was made for the eye, or that the eye was made for light, might possibly give rise to cavil ; but the ultra-caviler will hardly deny the adaptability of each to the other.
As no two material objects can occupy the same space at the same time, so no two persons can view the same object under exactly similar conditions at the same moment ; and it is doubtful if an object is ever seen twice by any one beholder under exactly like conditions of time, place, and circumstance.
This construction may cause us to take a charitable view of many differences of opinion as to the merits or demerits of works of art or of impressions produced by natural phenomena, which would otherwise be charged to stubbornness, or captiousness, or perhaps to willful blindness. This diversity, however, must not lead us to the conclusion that we can arrive at no positive knowledge of the effects produced on the general mind by certain combinations and contrasts of colors and of light and shade.
Notwithstanding the fact that the visual organs of many people are so imperfect that the possessors can not distinguish green from red, it can not reasonably be denied that the sensation produced by the sight of these colors is, as a rule, identical among all whose perceptive faculties are ordinarily susceptible to color impressions.
Chevreul, in his work on ” Laws of Contrast of Colors ” , says : ” As soon as I felt the necessity of this study, my first care was to discover whether I saw colors as the generality of persons see them. I was soon perfectly convinced that I did.” This, it will be seen, was a very important matter about which to come to a decision, for the reason that time spent in teaching the laws which govern color contrasts, and discords and harmony, would be worse than wasted if, in such matters, every man was to be ” a law unto himself.
” There have been, and are, and always will be, perhaps, individuals who claim that in all questions of taste there is no room for dispute, and that in such matters nobody has the right or the calling to propound laws for others. Such protesters are, fortunately, not the rule but the exception, and the fact still remains that the generality of persons see colors as Chevreul says he saw them.
Upon this assumption, laws have been pro-pounded, from time to time, which are supposed to be in accordance with Nature’s requirements in the disposition of colors in colorist decoration and ornamentation. In treating the question of color harmony, formidable difficulties are met with, and are hard to overcome, for the reason that all the natural laws relating thereto are so altered and modified by conditions and circumstances that they become liable to endless interpretations.
It is a fixed and arbitrary natural law in color-harmony that gold harmonizes with and is pleasing to the eye in combination or contrast with all colors and tints positive and neutral. Not equally so with all : gold is better with scarlet, or crimson, or purple, than with olive-green or greenish-drab, but it can not be made to discord with any color. Proportion and place, too, are powerful influences in the combination of colors : a color used in a composition in certain proportions will be disagreeable, and decrease the good effect of all ; whereas, had the same color been in proper proportion to its neighbors.
It would have heightened the good effect of all. So much, indeed, depends upon proportion, that disagreeable results will follow from any offense against these conditions. Rules may be given for putting together certain colors, so as to produce harmony and avoid discords, but no rule can be given for the relative proportions which these colors must bear to each other. A few general rules, indeed, may be laid down, such as follow : With blue and white, the white should be in excess, as a white ground with blue spots would have a more pleasing effect than a blue ground with white spots.
So with red and white ; the white should be in excess, and the remarks as to blue and white are equally pertinent as to red and white. Blue and red and yellow make perfect harmony in combination ; yet they are not as pleasing when the yellow shows in the same quantity as the other colors. When these colors are presented together, the blue should be first in quantity, the red next, and lastly the yellow.
Of course, it is difficult to determine the exact quantity of each, and hence arises the hopelessness of the task of educating one in this art whose perceptive faculties are naturally deficient in this most important requirement ; and one may almost as well be color-blind as to be without the ability to distinguish intuitively what are and what are not proper proportions. Few persons are color-blind to the extent of not experiencing the disagreeable effect of placing side by side, in direct contact, alternate stripes of red and green, or olive-green and brown.
But this is not all that is required. Discords in two colors may be changed to Concords by the addition of a third ; or, a discord in two colors which can not be made to harmonize may be toned down and rendered less disagreeable by the introduction of a third ; but, when and where and how this may be done, can not be taught by written rules, from the fact that the eye can not be educated in color-harmony through the ear, any better than the latter organ can be taught harmony of sounds through the medium of the eye. We say a black next a green, or between red and green, becomes dull and rusty, and both the other colors lose by the arrangement. Introduce a white or yellow next the black, and it at once shows its own color.
Such rules as these, however, can not properly be called instructive, for the reason that such knowledge should come by intuition , otherwise it would seem to be of no particular value to its possessor. It is easy to say that notes three and four in the musical scale struck together give forth discordant sounds ; but to the ear which does not know this by intuition, the fact taught through written rules would be as seed sown on stony ground. The writer moralizes a little here, because he knows some reader will expect to find full and complete directions for the combination of colors in color compositions, which will be applicable under any and all conditions. As said before, this knowledge comes only through the eye by practice, and by the study of good examples.
Light and Color of House Painting Article Source : This article courtesy should goes to House Painting Carriage Painting and Graining by John W Masury.