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Color Theory: 5 Things Beginner Artists Should Know

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Color theory for beginner artists

R-O-Y-G-B-I-V. If that's all you know about color, this blog is for you.

Color theory is pretty complex. For the purposes of this blog, we're going to keep it pretty simple. In the future, we may dig deeper. Today, we're just scratching the surface.

1. Hue

As introduced by Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

We're starting easy peasy. Hue simply refers to the color of the color in question.

For painters, hue doesn't just refer to the color of paint, it also refers to the quality. For example, on student grade paints, you may see the term "hue" on the label. Because pigment is so expensive, paint makers use less of it in paint they want to sell for less. Due to this, paints with the word "hue" on the label may not be as lightfast or have the same kind of archival durability that professional grade paints do.

2. Saturation

This gif is so saturated it makes my brain hurt.

So what is saturation, anyway? Saturation has everything to do with color intensity. In other words, it has to do with how much grey is mixed with your out-of-the-tube paint color.