Function of Light

Properties of Color

Expressive Qualities

Optical Effects


Hue is the technical term that corresponds to the conventional color names (such as red), that we use to describe a specific range of wavelengths of light. Hue is only one of three physical properties that must be used to describe our perception of color. The other two properties are intensity and value, both of which will be explored in later exercises. Although we commonly speak as if hue were the defining property of color, much of the richness and variety of color perception is dependent upon the interaction of all three properties.


Click on the small circles within each color wheel to reveal that color’s information. The Additive Formula and Subtractive Formula display the hues that are mixed to create that color in each of the two color systems.