Thursday, May 31, 2012

Color Theory - Chromatic Grays

Chromatic grays. What are they? 

They're the perfect way to use bold color 
without it looking garish.

Like the mustard chair from Anthropologie.
It would be great in lemon yellow, but 
 it just might begin to irritate you after a while.

Chromatic: adj. - Pertaining to color.
Gray: adj. - of a color between black and white; having a neutral hue.

Hence a Chromatic gray is a grayed down color.
But that does NOT mean dull or boring.

Chromatic grays can be bold, deep and rich...

or pale and ethereal.

or a mix of darks and lights.

They can be modern...

or they can be traditional.

How do you pick a pleasing palette of
chromatic grays?

Simple. There is a foolproof method:

Find a fabric swatch or item that you love.
Pick up a variety of paint swatch samples in the color families.
Start matching. Sometimes you're surprised at how gray 
a color actually can be! Most colors are chromatic grays.
There are relatively few saturated colors around.

Why do we like chromatic grays?

Chromatic grays are easy on the eyes. Literally.

Bright saturated colors are almost jarring to behold.
Eyes need to "rest" from them or to compensate
for them by optically creating a complementary color.

Stare at a bright orange or yellow object for a few minutes.
Now, look at a white wall. What do you see? 
Most likely, a complementary color. It's your brain's way
of mellowing out the intense color.

Even though we all are in a current love affair with
all white, gray or monochromatic taupe rooms, 
some times you just need some COLOR!

Chromatic grays are the safest way to use bold color.
Close value chromatic grays are practically foolproof!
Close value means they are the same degree of light or dark
like pastels, dark jewel tones, medium tones, etc. 

Next time we'll talk about using a chromatic gray palette with
a pop of intense saturated color for "umph!"

Meanwhile, let me know if you have any questions!

Word for the Day:

“You shall make a screen for the entrance of the tent, 

of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, 

embroidered with needlework.

Possibly linking with:

Sunday’s Best
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Sister Sunday
Just something I whipped up
Creative Me Link Up

Metamorphosis Monday
Making the World Cuter Monday
Motivate Me Monday 
Masterpiece Monday
The More the Merrier Monday
Manic Monday
Just a party with my peeps!
Show Me What You Got!

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Cowgirl Up!
Be Inspired

Share the Love Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday
Show Me What Ya Got

Suzy's House Party
Share Awesomeness Thursday
Thrifty Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Live Laugh Linky

Feathered Nest Friday
Frugal Friday
Frugalicious Friday
Inspiration Friday
Free For All Friday
Spread the Love
Delicately Constructed Friday

Saturday Nite Special
Get Schooled Saturday
Show and Tell Saturday


Courtney said... totally makes sense! I'd never thought about it before, but now I know why I like certain colors, I thought it was just because I was a 'cool' color person.

outjunking said...

Very interesting. So does every color have a gray counter part?

Anne said...

I agree I love these colors.They are a wonderful neutral color too.


Sherry said...

Ok, I've heard people speak about chromatic grays but I never understood the full impact. Thanks for sharing!

Liz - Imageremix said...

Thank you for answering my question the other day through this post. I knew it! I just needed a color expert to verify my gray theory. Are you available to tag along on a trip to the store? I am in need of some color help in person on the spot. :) Love the pics you chose!

Jann Olson said...

Thanks Revi for sharing this fun information. It always amazes me at what adding a shade of grey can do to a color. Thanks for sharing it with Share Your Cup I really enjoyed learning.

Anonymous said...