What Is Warm And Cool Colors

By | 25/11/2022

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Figure 1: A "split primary" color wheel with warm and cool primary colors forming 4 color quadrants.
Figure i: A “split primary” color bike with warm and cool primary colors forming 4 color quadrants.

The concept of warm and cool colors has been written about for hundreds of years. Nigh theories start with the classic six point color cycle (three primary colors and 3 secondary colors). A dividing line splits the cycle into warm and cool. The line location varies based upon the reasoning of the theorist. Regardless, the full general idea is the warm colors are Blood-red, Orange and Yellow; and the absurd colors are Green, Blue and Magenta (Effigy 2).

Figure 2: The classic color wheel divided into Cool and Warm halves.
Figure 2: The classic colour wheel divided into Absurd and Warm halves.

Compare “yellow” to “blue” and it’due south easy to run into yellowish is warm and blue is cool.  Comparing “scarlet” to “magenta” might be less obvious since they are next to each other. But if yous identify and compare the “colour temperatures”, a blueish red (magenta) is libation than a yellowish ruby-red (Figure iii). Describing how a color leans towards another chief or secondary is also referred to equally its“bias.” A ruddy, as nosotros can see, tin have a xanthous or a blue bias.

Figure 3: The reds are spit into a warm, yellowish red on top and a cool, bluish red (magenta) on bottom.
Effigy 3: The reds are spit into a warm, yellow red on top and a cool, bluish red (magenta) on bottom.

Color temperature is also important during pigment mixing. In club to make clean mixtures employ colors with similar color qualities.  For instance, mixing a yellowish cherry with reddish yellow yields bright secondary oranges (Figure 4). In describing a color to someone, we often refer to color “bias”. A red can have a yellow bias or it can have a blue bias.

Figure 4: The Yellow Red Quadrant contains a reddish yellow and yellowish red.
Figure 4: The Xanthous Red Quadrant contains a cerise yellow and yellowish red.

To identify color temperature yous’ll need to learn how to come across and place warm and absurd colors. Some colors are easy to discern, but looking at our 108 colors in our Heavy Body Acrylics line, “color temperature” gets catchy.  In the world of paint colors, there are warm AND cool greens, blues, carmine, yellows, earth colors, blacks and whites. Comparing a warm reddish to a cool ruby and then compare those to a third color, you should be able to see if it’s yellower, bluer, or in between the first ii reds.  Once you begin to “see” the differences it becomes easy to identify whatever colour.

To brand this as easy as possible, stretch out the color bike to eight chief colors (Figure 1). The colors are on a grid.  Yellowish is at the meridian, with the left example being a cool yellow because it has a green bias, thus we describe this equally a “Light-green Yellow”. The yellow to the right is a “Reddish Yellow” and identifies as a warm xanthous (Effigy five).

Figure 5: Yellows are divided with a cool greenish yellow to the left and a warm reddish yellow to the right.
Figure five: Yellows are divided with a absurd greenish yellow to the left and a warm scarlet xanthous to the right.

Clockwise, we motion toward reds. The elevation blood-red is a “Yellowish Blood-red” considering information technology has a yellow bias.  Not past blow, the Yellowish Scarlet is in the same quadrant as the Reddish Yellow. Mixed together the resulting orangish is “clean” (Figure four).  Clean color refers to having no biasness resulting in a duller or “muddy” color.

The lower red has a blue bias.  Having the two reds next to each other makes it easier to identify the colour temperature.  Our “Bluish Reddish” mixes very cleanly with our “Cherry Blue” at the bottom right, resulting in vibrant purples and violets.  Mixing the Yellowish Scarlet with the Reddish Blueish would make a dull maroon (Figure half-dozen).

Figure 6: The upper left mixture shows a clean violet using a reddish blue with a bluish red. The lower right mixture uses the same blue with a yellowish red, resulting in a biased maroon color.
Figure vi: The upper left mixture shows a clean violet using a reddish blue with a bluish red. The lower right mixture uses the same blue with a yellowish red, resulting in a biased maroon color.

Each quadrant lines up similarly. The “Greenish Blue” or cool blue mixes cleanly with the cool “Bluish Green”. The “Yellow Green” is warm and creates vibrant bright greens when mixed with its quadrant companion “Greenish Yellow” (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Mixing yellowish green with greenish yellow yields a clean, bright green.
Figure vii: Mixing yellowish light-green with dark-green yellow yields a clean, bright dark-green.

Color temperature doesn’t line up neatly when mixing colors. By take a chance the warm Cherry-red Yellowish and warm Yellowish Blood-red work together, simply the warm Yellowish Green mixes best with the cool Light-green Yellow. What’south more important is that you tin can identify the color temperature and its dominant bias so you tin choose the best mixing color based on your needs and paint colors you accept on paw.

Below is a table that identifies the colors used to create this chart and boosted examples of like temperature colors (Table 1).

Warm / Cool Paint Color - Quick Reference Guide
Table 1: Warm / Cool Paint Colour – Quick Reference Guide

For a full listing of the Aureate Heavy Trunk Colors, arranged from Cool to Warm by colour families, please see the following PDF:

Absurd to Warm Listing for GOLDEN Heavy Body Acrylics

Source: https://justpaint.org/defining-warm-and-cool-colors-its-all-relative/