Why we like some images more than others? - Part 3 - Colors

In the previous article, I explained two issues that influence our perception when viewing the image - a term of composition and lighting. In this module, I will concentrate on colors.

Using an adequate mix of colors and people arrangements during the process of creating the illustration is extremely important and can significantly change the viewers’ perception.

 

Why colors are important?

  1. Colors stimulate emotions, affect mood.
  2. Colors draw a viewer’s attention.
  3. Colors can guide the viewer’s eyes where it’s important.
  4. Colors emphasize a uniqueness.
  5. Colors can bring out the message.

 

WARM VS COLD COLORS

 

Warm colors remind us of things like the sun or fire. 

They are associated with heightened emotions, passion, joy, and playfulness. They make spaces look cozy and more intimate. 

 

Cold colors remind us of things like water, sky or grass.

Cool colors recede what affects the perception of depth. They make spaces look calm, relaxed and refreshed.

 

 

THE COLOR WHEEL

 

The color wheel is all about mixing colors. When you mix the primary colors such as red, yellow and blue, you will get the secondary colors - orange, green and violet. By mixing the secondary colors with the base ones, you will get tertiary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

 

 

COLOR HARMONY

The relation between colors remarkably influences on our perception. Some of the colors work great together, they give a pleasant visual reaction, others quite the opposite.

Below, I am going to show you some color schemes and the use of them.

 

  • MONOCHROMATIC - various shades, tones, and tints of one color

 

 

 

  • ANALOGOUS - any three colors which are side by side on the color wheel.

 

 

 

  • TRIADIC - any three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.

 

 

 

  • COMPLEMENTARY - two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.

 

 

 

  • SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY - any color on the wheel plus the two colors adjacent to its complement.

 

 

 

  • DOUBLE COMPLEMENTARY - two complementary pairs.

 

 

 

COLOR CONTEXT

Some things that matter in terms of color context:

  1. Depends on the context of the color, we perceive colors differently. 
  2. The edges between similar colors look softer, blurred.
  3. Saturated complementary colors next to each other have hard edges.
  4. Ambient and reflected light alters color perception.

 

Look at the image below. The shapes in the middle have the same size, shape, and color. The only thing that changes is a background color. Are they looking differently, aren’t they?

 

Colors in architectural visualizations are definitely considered as one of the most important factors. They stimulate emotions, affect mood and emphasize a  uniqueness. They can change everything, make the same image to look totally different. Remember to always use colors according to the idea you have in your image.

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