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Colour Remarks Ruskin Is Wholly Relative; Each Hue Throughout A Work








is altered by every touch added in other places. Thus, to place white
beside a colour is to heighten its tone; to set black beside a colour is
to weaken its tone; while to put grey beside a colour, is to render it
more brilliant. If a dark colour be placed near a different, but lighter
colour, the tone of the first is heightened, while that of the second is
lowered. An important consequence of this principle is, that the first
effect may neutralize the second, or even destroy it altogether. What
was cold before, becomes warm when a colder colour is set near it, and
what was in harmony before, becomes discordant as other colours are put
beside it. For example, to place a light blue beside a yellow, tinges
it orange, and consequently heightens its tone. Again, there are some
blues so dark relatively to the yellow that they weaken it, and not only
hide the orange tint, but even cause sensitive eyes to feel that the
yellow is rather green than orange--a very natural result when it is
considered that the paler the yellow becomes, the more it tends to
appear green.

We learn from these relations of colours, why dapplings of two or more
produce effects in painting so much more clear and brilliant than
uniform tints obtained by compounding the same colours: and why
hatchings, or a touch of their contrasts, thrown as it were by accident
upon local tints, have the same effect. We see, too, why colours mixed
deteriorate each other, which they do more--in many cases--by
imperfectly neutralizing or subduing each other chromatically, than by
any chemical action. Finally, we are impressed with the necessity, not
only of using colours pure, but of using pure colours; although pure
colouring and brilliancy differ as much from crudeness and harshness, as
tone and harmony from murkiness and monotony.

The powers of colours in contrasting each other agree with their
correlative powers of light and shade, and are to be distinguished from
their powers individually on the eye, which are those of light alone.
Thus, although orange and blue are equal powers with respect to each
other, as regards the eye they are totally different and opposed. Orange
is a luminous colour, and has a powerfully irritating effect, while blue
is a shadowy colour, possessing a soothing quality--and it is the same,
in various degrees, with other colours.

There are yet further modes of contrast or antagonism in colouring,
which claim the attention and engage the skill of the colourist. Of the





Next: Contrast Of Hues Upon Which Depend The Brilliancy Force And Harmony

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