Properties Of Colored Pigment: Value, Temperature, Intensity And Hue
Edited and republished from Jan. 2010
There are four properties of colored pigment that the artist manipulates in order to produce a painting: value, temperature, intensity and hue. And each property is seen in relation to surrounding areas of color; this relationship is called simultaneous contrast.
Properties Of Color (see chart below)
1) Value: the relative lightness or darkness of a color, from pure white to black
2) Temperature: the relative coolness or warmth of a color
3) Intensity: the relative brightness or dullness of a color
4) Hue: the identifying name of a color–yellow, red, blue, etc.
Below is an example using a blue hue, from top to bottom: Value–light to dark, Temperature–cool to warm, and Intensity–bright to dull.
A color’s properties are directly affected by adjacent colors. In the slideshow examples below, two nearly identical gray squares appear lighter or darker depending on the surrounding value. This also applies to the other properties of color–each can appear different in temperature and intensity depending on adjacent colors.
From a practical standpoint the artist should be cognizant of the relational property of color. Two ways to facilitate more accurate color mixing are to 1. isolate an area of color in nature by covering adjacent colors with a view finder (as seen in the slideshow) and 2. use toned backgrounds on your support/canvas to simulate the tone of your palette.