What Exactly is a Hue Anyway?
Colour has its own vocabulary that people either get wrong or don’t understand at all. It really helps if you know the right words to use when you are discussing things like paint colour with various professionals. For instance most people talk about a ‘shade’ of a colour when they mean a value. These are simple explanations of colour terminology.
Hue: A hue is simply a pure colour with no black or white added to it. The colour wheel displays hues.
Value: The lightness or darkness of a colour.
Tint: A tint is a light value. It is a hue with white added. Add white to red and you get a tint of red called pink.
Shade: A shade is a dark value. It is a hue with black or brown added. Add black to blue and you get a shade called navy blue.
Tone: A hue with its complimentary colour or grey added. This darkens and mutes (tones down) the pure colour. Add orange to blue and you get a colour called slate. Add grey to any hue and it darkens and softens it.
Intensity: The saturation or purity of a colour. This also could described as the strength of a colour. Pure red has high intensity. Pale pink has low intensity.
Complementary Colours: These are two colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Think Christmas – red and green. Complementary colours placed beside each other, make the other stand out or pop. The opposite happens if you mix them together as in paint, they tone each other down.
Muted Colours: A muted colour is a pure colour that has had its complimentary colour added which tones it down or ‘mutes’ it. A tone of a colour is a muted colour. Add a drop of pure red to pure green and you get olive green. The more red you add the more muted and ‘muddier’ the green becomes. These colours are low intensity. They tend to look less attractive on a paint chip but look fabulous on the wall. They are the best choice for paint colour in most rooms.
Next: Warm & Cool Colours