Color is the visual byproduct of the light spectrum as it is either transmitted through a transparent medium or as it is absorbed and reflected off of a surface. Thus, color is the light wavelengths from a reflected source that the human eye receives and the brain processes.
For the purposes of simplification for this article, colors are classified according to the traditional color model, which uses blue, red, and yellow as primary colors.
The basic color theory states that colors begin as primary, secondary, tertiary as main classifications. Thereafter, classifications become more complex depending on the combinations of colors between and among the main classifications.
Primary colorsare the original colors: blue, red, and yellow. They are colors that are pure and not composed of any other colors. They represent the base colors that all other colors originate from.
Secondary colors result from the combination of two primary colors. These are green, orange, and violet (purple)
Greenis the result of mixing yellow and blue.
Orange is the result of mixing yellow and red.
Violet (purple) is the result of mixing red and blue.
Analogous colors are any one of a group of related colors that are near each other on the color wheel.
Red, orange, and yellow are analogous colors. This might best be represented by examining the order of colors in a rainbow.
Complementary colors lie opposite each other on the color wheel. They complete or enhance each other. Complementary colors are pairs of colors that, when combined or mixed, cancel each other out (lose hue).
If you notice, the complementary colors are one secondary color and the primary color that is not contained in that secondary color.
To illustrate, green contains yellow and blue and is, therefore, a secondary color. Its complementary color is red. Applying red over the green will cause both colors to mute and look nothing like how they originated.
The complementary colors that concern permanent makeup artists primarily are:
Green and red
Violet and yellow
Orange and blue.
When mixed equally, the colors cancel each other out. This is known as subtraction. Theoretically, the resulting color will be black or gray. In our practice, however, as pigments are never as precise as described in this explanation, the result is a more muted muddy brown.
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