Since the words concerning color were written a number of new books treating of this subject have come into the author's hands. One of the most helpful of these is Ward's "Color Harmony and Contrast." In the hope that the knowledge may be helpful some of the ideas there presented are here given. As previously stated the way to study color or to teach its use is by actual practice with color itself, and that is not easily accomplished by printer's ink.

Judging by the papers received it seems desirable to call attention to the different theories of color, and so explain why red, green and blue are regarded as the primary colors rather than the red, yellow and blue of the older theory. This theory arose from the knowledge that any mixture of pigments could not produce a pure red, yellow or blue, so these were considered as the primary colors. Moreover, most colors other than the primaries can be made by mixing the pigments red, yellow and blue, so, those who work with pigments and dyes regard them as the primary ones.

The physicists base their theory of color upon the. fact that while yellow exists in the spectrum as a simple color of definite wave-length it may also be produced on the retina of the eye as a color-sensation by a mixture of red and green waves. When it was shown that yellow could be made by a mixture of two other colors it lost its place as a primary color. It has been proved that the retina of the eye is sensitive only to red, green and violet blue; all other color sensations result from the blending of these sensation.

This fact calls attention to the different results obtained' by the mixing of pigments and the mixing of colored lights. Yellow and blue pigments give green. Yellow and blue lights produce white or grayish white, but in no case any tinge of green light. This difference between the mixing of pigments and of light is further explained by the fact that in mixing lights one color is added to another, while in a mixture of pigments each color of the mixture absorbs the color of its companion and the final color is due to the power of the mixture to reflect the particular color not absorbed by either constituent. For example, the result of a mixing of blue and yellow pigments may be illustrated as follows: The colors making up white light are - Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet. Pigments absorb certain colors and reflect others. The mixture of these reflected give the color. The blue pigment absorbs red, orange and yellow. The yellow absorbs blue and violet. Then, only green is left unabsorbed and this is the light reflected which gives color to the mixture. As we are concerned with colors of light in decoration and not with mixing pigments, the scientific classification is the important one here. So much for the theories of color.

It may be well to define some terms. Scientists in defining color consider three of its qualities, viz., Purity, luminosity, and hue, and to these they have given the name "Constants of Color." Purity in a color means freedom from white light. The colors of the spectrum are taken as standards of pure color. All natural bodies reflect more or less white light and are to that extent impure. Artists sometimes use the term to indicate purity from "muddy" tones, but that is not the scientific use of the term.

The second constant of color is luminosity or brightness. This brightness depends on the total amount of light reflected to the eye. This total amount varies with the degree of illumination and the amount of black in the pigment. The tone of a color therefore depends upon its degree of luminosity.

The third constant is hue. All the spectrum colors have different degrees of refrangibility or different wave-lengths, violet having the shortest and red the longest. As generally interpreted a shade is produced by adding black to a hue or color, and a tint by adding white to a hue or color. Brown is a shade of orange, the color of the sky a tint of blue. When one realizes the number of shades and tints possible the problem of making a good selection is better appreciated.

Only general principles can be given to aid in the selection of colors.

First, the decorator finds that he can not use the pure tones in complementary pairs on account of their violent contrast and their inharmonious association. The use of green and red has already been considered. See page 126.

The darkened shades of the primaries and their complementaries make much more satisfactory colors for general use. The pure tones are too exciting, too stimulating to both eye and mind. Ward gives (page 49) the following table of darkened complementaries (obtained by adding black to spectrum colors).

Dark red or maroon. Dark blue-green.

Olive-yellow or citrine. Dark blue.

Dark green, or myrtle.

Dark violet-purple or plum.

Besides the "harmony of contrast" in colors there are other kinds of color harmony. One of the most desirable is that obtained by mixing colors with others of closely related hues, where one color passes to another by a marked interval; another method is by the graduation of a color from darker to lighter shades, or yet another by the use of a "dominant color".

Ward says, "Brilliant and intense colors are always very difficult to harmonize in pairs, but if it were necessary to have a pair of brilliant colors in any particular scheme of decoration, care must be taken to use one or other of the pair in a much greater proportion, either of area, or of intensity, than its companion; for instance, if orange-yellow and blue, which are perfectly harmonious together, are used in the same proportion in a scheme of color, the effect will be unsatisfactory and bewildering, as each color will appear to fight for the mastery, one or other color must be distinctly dominant in order to give that sense of proportion and artistic balance which is looked for in true color harmonies.... But no two colors in any scheme, however complex, should, as a rule, be used in similar quantities. One color either in area or intensity ought to be in excess of any other color in a good composition." Page 74.

Following out this principle in improving the green and red room already considered, it would be improved by making green the dominant hue and adding touches of red possibly in the hangings or sofa cushions.

"We see this kind of gradation or small interval in the green foliage of trees, where the lighter greens are yellowish, the middle tints of the masses greener, and the darker tints inclining to blue - or grey-greens, though the latter are never absolutely cold in hue.

"When using tints or shades of green in large spaces in decoration, it is always much better to keep the lighter tints purer in color, and the darker shades more grey in hue. This is a lesson from nature which can be applied in decoration with the best results. With other colors this is more or less true, but it applies particularly to green, because it is the most difficult of all colors to manage, either in pictorial or decorative art.

"There is no quality of color in nature, or in art, so precious as that of gradation, and none so universal; it is gradation which gives the palpitating and throbbing life to color, in fact, it is the life itself of a color. Compare the flat uniform layer of a wash, or coat of color," with a wash of the same color laid on unevenly, or allowed to flow freely from the brush, and the greater beauty and superiority of the latter will at once be self-evident." (Page 80).

So much for the principles. It is hoped that the following combinations of color taken from Mr. Ward's book may be helpful.

TABLE OF COMBINATIONS OF DYADS, OR PAIRS OF COLORS

Red with blue ..................

.very good.

Red with green ................

.harsh.

Red with yellow ....................

.moderate.

Red with orange-red .................

.moderate.

Red with blue-green...............

.fair.

Re with green-yellow .......................

.fairly good.

Red with violet ...............

.bad.

Scarlet or vermilion with blue ..................

.good.

Scarlet or vermilion with turquoise.

.good.

Scarlet or vermilion with green.....

.harsh.

Scarlet or vermilion with yellow....

.moderate.

Scarlet or vermilion with violet....

.bad.

Orange-red with blue ........................

.good.

Orange-red with turquoise.........

. good.

Orange-red with blue-green........

.harsh.

Orange-red with yellow-green......

.moderate.

Orange-red with yellow .........................

.moderate.

Orange with blue .................

.excellent, but powerful.

Orange with turquoise ......................

. excellent.

Orange with green .....................

. fairly good.

Orange with blue-green ...................

. good.

Orange with violet

fairly good

Orange with purple

moderate.

Orange-yellow with blue

excellent.

Orange-yellow with turquoise.......

fairly good.

Orange-yellow with blue-green......

moderate.

Orange-yellow with red.............

poor.

Orange-yellow with violet...........

good.

Orange-yellow with purple

fairly good.

Yellow with blue...................

good.

Yellow with turquoise..............

fair.

Yellow with blue-green.............

bad.

Yellow with green..............

moderate.

Yellow with red....................

moderate.

Yellow with violet..................

excellent.

Yellow with purple.................

good.

Greenish-yellow with blue

good.

Greenish-yellow with turquoise......

poor.

Greenish-yellow with blue-green.....

fair.

Greenish yellow with green.........

fair.

Greenish-yellow with red............

harsh.

Greenish-yellow with violet..........

excellent.

Greenish-yellow with purple........

good.

Green with blue

poor.

Green with turquoise

bad.

Green with red

strong and harsh.

Green with violet

moderate.

Green with purple

harsh,

Bluish-green with scarlet...........

fair.

Bluish-green with blue..............

bad.

Bluish-green with violet

good.

"Many of the combinations given above as 'moderate' and 'fair' can be much improved by darkening the lighter color, and where they are mentioned as 'harsh' they may be brought into better harmony by darkening both colors.