Everyone at one time or another has seen the breaking up or refraction of light in some
form or another. The most evident example is the rainbow. Light is caused by certain waves of radiant energy. This wave
length is measured in Angstrom units. The waves which produce the sensation which our eyes recognize as light, range from
3800 to 7600 angstroms. Radiant energy in waves between these two limits make up the light spectrum. (see fig.1)
Six easily identified hues are; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. A primary is a spectrum hue that is basic and cannot be produced by the mixing of any other hues.
VALUE: The movement toward white by additive mixing illustrates the second variant of color - Value. The light to dark relationship of a hue or mixed color is its value. The white values nearer white are known as "tints" and the darker values approaching black are referred to as "shades". Both represent a difference from the true color.
SUBTRACTIVE MIXING: We found that when colors are mixed in the air, the process is "additive mixing". The opposite method is
to mix colors by crossing or combining color mediums in front of a single light source. (See fig.3)
This illustrates the effect of combining two color mediums - blue - green and yellow - in front of a light source. The yellow won't let the violet and blue frequency travel since they aren't a long enough wave length. The green wave length is on the same frequency as the yellow. But the yellow also contains red wave length. Only the green wave length of the yellow can travel with the green. Green is all you see. The green color that is transmitted is the only hue not subtracted or filtered out of the light byh the combined color mediums.
The following are basic interpretations given for colors when colors are used symbolically:
Yellow signifies saintliness and/or virginal radiance; Orange signifies festivity; Red signifies activity (esp. fiery), strong forcefulness; Violet signifies passiveness, coolness, purity; Green signifies tranquillity and sometimes suggests weirdness.
This is at best very general. The emotional aspects can be modified by adjacent colors as well as by the color of the background. This can be a very good advantage in changing the psychological and the physiological reponse of an audience to the performer. In other words it can make the difference of ooooo's and ahhhhhh's.
Next month learn lighting application to the stage.