Art & Color Terminology & Definitions
These terms have set meanings, they are not subjective and should not be personalized so others will know what you're talking about when you use them & not have to wonder what you actually mean. At the same time they can be easily misunderstood as some of the terms are interrelated & it can be difficult to discern the differences so I thought it might be helpful to have the definitions posted as they're used more & more often in PCA. Sometimes wrongly so.
Hue: a color: red / red-orange / orange / yellow-orange / yellow / yellow-green / green / blue-green / blue / blue-violet / violet / red-violet.
Note: Hue has absolutely nothing to do with temperature; hue is just a color. Temperature is not static or fixed, it's relative & about context. There's lots of theory concerning temperature, much of it conflicting, so I don't even want to get into that. The theory is argued over even by the experts, but it is also taught (and accepted) that temperature is relative & about context. Generally speaking red-orange is considered to be the warmest hue & green-blue the coolest because it's the complement (exact opposite) of red-orange on the color wheel. Yellow is the brightest hue & blue the darkest hue.
Value: the lightness (whiteness) to darkness (blackness) of a color. White is high in value (+), black is low in value (-), and the Munsell color model has gray at zero.
Chroma: the purity of a hue, the difference from gray. The more grayed a hue is the lower in chroma it is. The purer it is the higher in chroma it is.
Intensity & Saturation are
related to chroma and are properties of a hue.
Intensity: the brightness to dullness of a hue. The closer to gray a color gets the 'duller' it is considered. You can brighten a pure hue or make it duller but you can’t make a pure hue any purer.
Saturation: the chromacity & strength of a hue, or ‘colorfulness’. The strength of a color in relation to it's own brightness. A highly saturated color is strongly pigmented, intense, vivid.
If you play with colors on your computer in your paint program, as you lessen the saturation of a color the grayer or duller it gets. It is less ‘colorful’.
Pure black, white & gray are Achromatic,
devoid of hue and chroma.
They are colorless.
Think this way- if black, white and gray are pure (or clear) you won't see a hint of color in them. However if a COLOR is grayed it becomes less 'color-full', the chroma is lowered- it is no longer a pure hue or highly pigmented. The color becomes ‘duller’.
Masstone: The top tone or body color of a paint. The mass tone of a paint color (or hue) is the color it appears when the paint is applied thickly, when you don't see any other color beneath it or the support showing through the paint.Undertone: a subtle color that is seen through & modifies another color.
Luminance & Reflectivity: Luminance has to do with light, not hue. Reflectiveness is the light bouncing off the surface of something. Gray can be shiny depending on the surface. A matte or rough surface doesn't reflect light but a smooth, hard surface will reflect light giving a perceived brightness that doesn't come from the chroma or saturation of a hue. It comes from light.
Contrast: The Level of variation between light & dark areas in an image.
Monochromatic Colors: Varying values of a single hue.
Complementary Colors: Colors that are directly opposite one another on a color wheel. Red & Turquoise-Blue or Cyan / Blue & Orange / Green & Magenta / Violet & Yellow, and so on. They are opposing, contrasting colors. When you place complementary colors side by side they intensify each other but when you mix them together they create gray & cancel each other out per se. One way to mute a color is to mix in its complement.
Note: Complementary pairs depend on the color wheel being used. A very simple color wheel will have red & green as complement whereas a more complex color wheel will have red & cyan or turquoise-blue as complements.
Analogous Colors: analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel such as yellow-green / yellow / yellow-orange. In an analogous color scheme usually one of the three colors predominates.
Shade & Tint are terms that refer to a variation of a hue.
Shades have had black added to them.
Tints have had white added to them.