The effects of color and light

Fundamentals of Art and Design 3(1+2)

Lesson 05 :Application of principles of design using colors.

The effects of color and light

Lighting also has an effect on color expressions. Highly visible colors of warm hues, light values, and bright intensities are effective in floral arrangements viewed from a distance. Cool colors vanish in dim light. Lighting is an important consideration when planning and preparing floral arrangements for evening weddings and banquets. Tints reflect more light and are more easily seen in dim lighting than the pure hues, tones, or shades. This knowledge of color is also helpful in expressing moods and emotions with color.

The color effect:

Daylight (white light) is made up of numerous waves or impulses each having different dimensions or wavelengths. When separated, any single wavelength will produce a specific color impression to the human eye. What we actually see as color is known as its color effect. When an object is hit (bombarded) with light rays, the object absorbs certain waves and reflects others, this determines the color effect.

For example, Fig. 5.14, what we actually see when we observe a blue ball is that the ball appears blue because it reflects only blue light and absorbs all other light.

The ball does not have color in itself. The light generates the color. What we see as color is the reflection of specific wavelength of light rays off an object.

The color white: If all light waves are reflected from a surface the surface will appear to be white.

The color black: Similarly, when all light waves are absorbed by a surface the surface will appear to be black.

The energy of light waves is converted into heat when absorbed. Wearing white or light colored clothing during hot summer days takes advantage of the quality.

Colors are affected by the amount of light, the angle of light, the color of reflected light and the nearby colors. White or very light colors reflect light making a house or room appear larger and giving the interior an airy quality. These colors emphasize the shadow effects of carvings and textures of brick and stone. Care must be used, however, because they also may emphasize any surface irregularities and flaws. Since these colors reflect more light, there may be a problem with glare in rooms where there is an overabundance of sunlight.

Natural light coming into a room may be reflected from a nearby surface, such as green shrubbery or the color of the house siding next door. Night lighting can make a dramatic change in color. For instance, cool white fluorescent gives a bluish cast while incandescent has a golden glow. Colors should always be tried together in the location where they will be used and any changes need to be noted before plans are completed and purchases made. Use as large a color or fabric sample as possible and place it on the surface where it will be used (drapery fabric at the window, carpet sample on the floor). Observe under both natural (daylight) and artificial (nighttime) lighting conditions.

Surfaces directly facing the light source will reflect the most light. In an Interior, the floor will reflect more light than any other surface. The ceiling will reflect the east. A light colored floor will do more to make a room look spacious than a light ceiling.

Black or very dark colors will make a room or house seem smaller. Since dark colors reflect very little light, they minimize surface and architectural irregularities. Black appears far heavier than light colors or white. It also makes the shine of a gloss finish more noticeable.

Black and dark colors absorb light and require increased lighting in a room. A light floor covering helps to balance and reduce the effect of heaviness. Light or bright accent colors used with these colors also help reduce their heavy effect.

Last modified: Wednesday, 15 February 2012, 6:57 AM