Introduction which usually after being mixed give rise


This research work has tackled the meaning of color and light and how we are able to distinguish objects appearance by the virtue of light falling on those objects. It distinguishes why some object appear different from others. Some of basic colors have been tackled and how different cells on our eyes are able to differentiate colors. Light has been tackled as a very useful component of color.

Some fundamental cells in our eyes which facilitate vision have been covered and how they behave in presence and absence of light. In art and design this paper depicts the great role of color and how colors can be used tactically to improve the work of artists.

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The word color itself has got a wide scope in regard to the perspective one would like to look at it. according to Bohren & Clothiaux (2006, pp. 212-213), color can be referred to as wavelength or frequency which can be as a result of stimulation from external factors like light or produced internally by our brains. They add that Color and light are inseparable but still we can experience the presence of color without light such an instance may arise in a dream despite no light has been depicted someone experiences the presence of light, If under influence of psychotropic drugs or when hit on the head colors may be seen despite no light on our retina.

Spectrum of Light

A visible spectrum is a portion electromagnetic wave which can be detected by human eyes (Smith, 2006, pg, 3)


According to Hambling (2002, pg, 1), for us to experience light it must be visible this means that the electromagnetic waves comprising in the light must be above four hundred nanometers (400nm), otherwise if electromagnetic waves are below 400nm they are invisible. The invisible light can be absorbed on some surfaces and be re-emitted hence allowing someone to see it for example fluorescence has got this property. When visible light reaches the retina of the eye and this effect is interpreted we can say that color has been perceived.

There are two types of cells usually responsible for the vision .Those cells bring about the distinction of color of human eyes when light falls on the retina.

Color in the brain

After the retina has done the interpretation of the color through its cells that is cone cell and rod cells the other processing is done separately, this is done out of the eyes to the brain where perception is usually carried out.

Cone cells

Those are the cells in the retina which facilitate color vision and works best in bright light; they perceive finer details and images which change rapidly. Usually when we are reading or watching TV they are of great importance.

Rod cells

Other than cone cells they can work in less light and facilitate for peripheral vision, they are located in big numbers at the retina and they entirely responsible for vision with less light usually at night.

They are less accurate compared to cone cells.

Color Theory

We usually observe colors and also we visualize the colors this means that we have physiology of vision which is closely and intricately linked with psychological perception. When we mix colors we yield other colors but some colors cannot be created by any mixture those colors are referred to as Pure colors which includes Red, Blue and Yellow.

Types of colors

Colors are usually grouped according to various classes and how they come into being.

Those colors which usually after being mixed give rise to other colors are called primary colors. Also we have secondary and Tertiary colors discussed below.

Primary colors

Usually primary colors are the most important color because they are usually combined to yield other colors.

But when it comes to light we cannot regard them as the most important component of light because according to Smith (2006, pg 3), he states that “light is both a wave and a particle” as a wave they are electromagnetic wave usually characterized by a great speed and as a particle they are unbroken flow of those particles. All colors can be yielded by mixing Red Green Blue White and Black these set of colors has been referred to as psychological primary colors.

Secondary colors

When we mix additive primary colors together we get secondary colors for example when red is mixed by yellow we get orange.

Tertiary colors

Tertiary colors are yielded after we have combined additive secondary colors When we talk about additive we simply mean that we are mixing Paints or Inks.

Properties of light

When light fall on the object there are some effects which takes place this light might be reflected, absorbed or even be scattered or some or the combination of these effects may be observed Some objects may absorb light and in the process they emit the light with varying properties from the source this is usually known as fluorescence. Objects are also said to emit their light rather than reflecting this usually happens when their temperature increases. Object color is determined by its scattering or absorption properties for instance when object absorbs all the light it appear black and when it reflects all the light it appear white.

If light of different wavelength falls on opaque object which reflects light they appear as tinted mirrors and those colors which appear are usually determined by the differences which are there on the wave length. Light is usually transmitted by transparent or translucent objects, but if on both cases they absorb or reflect the light they also appear tinted which is as a result of their difference in wave length.

Color Symbolism

According to (Bear, 2011), in every religion, culture and traditions color has been used to symbolize many things some colors are used to cause reactions either physical or feeling, ideas or concepts. Some color is depicted in clothing and painting to symbolize something or deliver a message or even to show the sense of belonging.

Physical reaction

If something is red in color it may cause physical reaction like raising blood pressure (Bear, 2011). Consequently color which has been used to bring about culture reactions is white in time of marriages and also in some cultures when mourning.

Color in Art & Design

In art color is very fundamental in the sense that the viewer may be is evoked to respond, change mood or to create a message.

In Art the attributes of color can be used to the advantage of artist. It does not necessarily mean that a message can only be passed through writing but a mere depiction of a color which can easily and conveniently send a message to the viewer (Mcnee, 2010).

Color names, Paint store and Fashion

In fashion we cannot disregard the fact that it’s not possible to have a fascinating fashion without colors. Good selection of colors will always attract customer to a particular fashion may be of clothes according to how colors has been depicted to those fashions. Individuals also may be selective in selection of the colors as a result of personal preferences. When a certain fashion has got a particular color and this color is one of the most favorite colors to many of the customers it will definitely be an aid to get customer into purchasing of that item. In paint stores the naming of those paints is usually depicted evidently to attract many customers. This fascinating site keeps the customer flowing into the stores.

In essence appropriate naming usually enhance perception the customers has towards any particular color


It’s evident that without color we could not have the actual touch of reality because the issue of how to differentiate objects would be very hard. Colors as we have seen are brought about by light but this fact has been compromised by the fact that still without light we can still experience colors for example when we are dreaming. The issue of color has a wide scope and at least the basic knowledge of the color should be embraced by everybody.

In our day to day interaction with environment we are supposed to know the meaning of colors for instance when crossing the road there is universal color set aside universally to communicate to the road users when it is safe to cross the road, hence the importance of having knowledge in colors.

Reference List

Bear, J. H. (2011). Color Meaning, Symbolism of Color and Colors that go together. US: About.

com, the New York Times Company. Bohren, C. F & Clothiaux, E.E. (2006). Fundamental of Atmospheric Radiation: An Introduction with 400 Problems.

Weinheim: Wiley-VCH Publishers. Hambling, D. (2002). Let the Light Shine in. UK: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved on 15 April, 2011 from Mcnee, L. (2010). Use the Hidden Meaning of the Color Red in Art & Design. US: Genesis Framework. Smith, G.

H. (2006). Camera Lenses: From box camera To Digital. Washington: The International Society For optical Engineering.


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