Category Archives: Color Theory



Color is all around us. The same fabric can, and will, appear different to two different people, in two different places, and at different times of the day.

Find out why!

How many times have you heard someone say something is pink, to have someone else say, no it is salmon? And a fabric in the morning, in a room facing east, will appear very different from that same fabric in the evening in a room with northern light.

Ewald Hering Isaac Newton Color Wheel

Ewald Hering Isaac Newton Color Wheel

Not only can the color appear different to different people and at different times of the day, it can also look different because of the light quality of a location. A fabric in mid-coast Maine, inland 7 miles, looks totally different on the shore. I first became aware of this years ago… a woman wrote about moving to Paris, from New York. She bought fabric in New York for an apartment in Paris, and had it shipped there. The light of Paris, with it’s high Renaissance skies, made the colors of the fabric appear totally different! And a fabric in Denver with its high, clear light, will be very different in Seattle.

So, what is color? And how is it possible for it to be so variable?

Color is how our visual nerves register color in terms of the attributes of color: the amount of green-or-red; the amount of blue-or-yellow; and the brightness.

As defined by the Encarta World English Dictionary:

“Color is the property causing visual sensation. It is the property of objects that depends on the light that they reflect and is perceived as red, blue, green, or other shades.
It is not black or white. It is a manifestation of color, e.g. red or green, as opposed to black, white, or gray.”
                                                                                                                  To be continued…