Color is a powerful tool in the hands of an artist. It can create an emotional response in the viewer as well as create shapes, textures and depth in a work of art. But just how does color affect the brain? Does it go deeper than creating an emotion?
Color in Art and Your Brain is a blog that takes you through the journey of color and its impact on the human brain. It’s written by Dr. Maureen Stone, who has spent her life studying color and its effects on the human psyche. As a neuroscientist, her research has been with patients who have suffered from strokes or other brain damage. Her research has led to breakthroughs in understanding how different parts of the brain see color.
A stroke can change how a person sees color or even eliminate their ability to see certain colors all together. For example, one man had suffered a stroke that blinded him to reds, greens and blues but allowed him to see yellows, oranges and purples. His condition was so rare that it was named “Daltonism” after his name. In Daltonism those three colors are seen as shades of grey by the patient.”
The effects of color on the brain are as follows:
1. Red: increases respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure; which is why using red in advertising works so well
2. Orange: stimulates mental activity, encourages sociability and communication
3. Yellow: stimulates the liver, the spleen and pancreas; gives a feeling of warmth and energy
4. Green: calms and relaxes the nervous system; also produces a soothing effect on mental clarity
5. Blue: slows down the pulse rate, lowers respiration and blood pressure (in other words it’s relaxing)
6. Purple/Violet: reduces respiration, slows down pulse rate making it ideal for relaxation
Altering color in art seems to alter moods as well, based on what I’ve observed from my own work. I believe that’s because of how color affects the brain.
Color in art has been a big part of having an appreciation for great art. This is because color in art, in most cases, does not distract you from the piece or make it seem like something that isn’t art. The colors used in most painting and sculpture don’t have anything to do with the actual subject matter, but they are still important to the overall image that is trying to be created by the artist.
Details and small features of color can make all the difference in a piece of art. Color can actually tell you what time of day something is painted, where it is located, why it was painted, who commissioned it and a host of other things that are important but not readily apparent to the layman.
In this blog we will discuss exactly how color plays a role in your emotions as well as why it is so important to great art.**
Color can be used in a variety of ways in the arts. Some artists use color to express emotions, while others might use color to capture a specific emotion or feeling. Each way can be effective, but they both require a lot of thought and knowledge of the subject matter.
The first use will depend on how the artist sees the world around them. When an artist sees something that inspires them to make a piece of art, they must put their thoughts into something that can be expressed visually. This is usually done through color because it is so expressive. It allows the artist to convey their emotions and feelings without having to describe them in words or try to make the viewer see what they are trying to express through words.
All colors have different meanings and associations that are familiar to most people, so if an artist uses just one color for a piece it will almost always have some sort of meaning whether its intentional or not. By using a combination of colors that are familiar and also have specific meanings; an artist can easily help convey their intended message…
Color and emotion. Color and mood. Color and memory. Color is often used in art to evoke certain emotions, memories, or other responses in the viewer. But what is it about color that makes it capable of doing this? What’s happening in the brain when you look at a painting or photograph and have a very specific reaction?
Scientists have spent years studying color, but there is still a lot that is unknown to us about why we react to color in the ways that we do. However, several theories have been developed, including the dual-coding theory of color vision, which suggests that there are two different processes for encoding and decoding color (both of which occur on a subconscious level). As you will see below, this theory can be broken down even further into three processes: hue processing, brightness processing, and shape processing (Wyszecki & Stiles). Each of these processes contributes to how we perceive different colors as well as our emotional responses to them.
Hue processing. This is the process by which our brains categorize colors based on their hues. Hue refers to the name of each individual color on the visible spectrum (reds, greens, blues, etc.). Hue encoding is considered a “bottom-up” process because our
Some of these limitations can be overcome by careful selection of colors. For example, a color that is complementary to another color will appear brighter and more vibrant. A color that is the opposite of another color will appear darker and more muted than the other.
Color temperature refers to how cool or warm a color is. Cool colors like blues, purples, greens and reds are considered cool colors. The colors on the blue portion of the spectrum are often referred to as “cool colors”. Warm colors are reds, oranges, yellows and browns.
The brain plays an important role in translating what people see into meaningful information. Color perception is not an exact science. People perceive different colors in the same object and different objects with the same colored paint on them due to their experiences, cultural background and personal choice.*