This is the third instalment of the Color Basics series that I am doing. Once you have this knowledge, it’s easy to start putting colors together and to see what works and what doesn’t work at all. What I have learnt is that nature offers great color combinations, all you have to do it look around you. In the previous two we have spoken about the color wheel and in our color wheel we have 12 basic colors, which are divided into 3 primaries, 3 secondaries and 6 tertiary colors. From there we learnt the different color temperatures i.e. warm and cool colors, and how in those sections we have blues, greens, reds, oranges yellow and purples (as they were named).
Today we will learn about tints, shades and tones. Have a look at the image above, lovely isn’t it. Using only the 12 colors or hues, I could make 48 more colors just by adding white to make it lighter.
This is what you call a tint. So once you add white to a color you will have made a tint of the original flat color or hue. Have a look at the image below. I have taken orange, yellow, yellow-green, red-purple and blue and added white to it to make a tint of the original. Just by doing this I am able to make another 20 colors. These lighter shades you would call pastels. So if you have a flat color that is too bright or too harsh, all you can do is add white to it to soften it a bit. Now for a definition of a shade, a shade is when you add black or degrees of black to a flat color. I have taken exactly the same colors and added black to it. There you have another 25 colors just by adding the black to it or degrees of black. The more black you add the darker the color will become.
To create a tone you will add grey to your basic color, so a lighter tint of black. Therefore, to wrap it all up, if you take your 12 basic colours and add white to it you will be able to have a range of 60 colors, and by adding black to it you will be able to have 120 colors, just by using the original 12 colors. Once you have this, you can create a range of different colors, by mixing two or more of your basic colors.