Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!

Introduction to Color Expert Johannes Itten

June 14, 2011 admin 13 Comments

“Color is life; for a world without color appears to us as dead.” – Johannes Itten

When you take an art course on color theory, you can thank Johannes Itten for laying much of the foundation for what you’re being taught. Johannes Itten was a Swiss artist and teacher who taught at the Bauhaus in Germany. He published several books on art theory, the most popular being The Art of Color.

Sir Isaac Newton is credited with creating the first color wheel, which included 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, cyan and blue. Around 250 years later, Johannes Itten expanded Newton’s color wheel to include 12 colors instead of 6. These 12 colors included red, yellow and blue as the primary colors; orange, green and purple as the secondary colors, and 6 intermediary colors created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. This is the same color wheel often used in school’s today to teach students about color theory.

Itten also examined color saturation, contrast and hue, devising theories for creating different color combinations that are still useful to artists and designers today. He looked at the expressiveness of color, and also the way colors affect one another. He also explored the emotional properties of colors which he considered to be fairly subjective, proposing that we each have different individual reactions to colors.

For more information about Johannes Itten and his color theories, look for his books online or in your local library.

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  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    September 29, 2012 - 3:12 am

    Artists are amazing. It’s like they sketch a soul they can see that the average person cannot, and then colour it in so that the average person can see it – by its colour.

  2. digger666
    October 16, 2012 - 8:54 am

    Thanks for “liking” a few of my posts. Given your affinity for colour, perhaps this post might interest you: http://digger666.com/2012/09/13/a-book-that-shows-every-color-imaginable/

  3. rizzie's world
    October 22, 2012 - 8:07 am

    I agree! The world would be dead without color. Fall wouldn’t be fall with out the color changes of the leaves! Thanks for the introduction to Johannes Itten. I really enjoyed learning about him from your blog.

    • segmation
      October 22, 2012 - 8:15 am

      Thank you! Patience is a virtue!

  4. grahammb
    October 30, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Who knew! Sir Isaac and the color wheel. Love learning factoids like that!

  5. Andrew Seaward
    November 2, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    Thanks for following my blog, http://portraitsofaddiction.com
    I’m glad you found the Hurricane Sandy blog inspiring. Looking forward to checking out your posts and learning more about you.

    -Andrew Seaward

    • segmation
      November 2, 2012 - 8:01 pm

      Thanks you!

  6. kelihasablog
    November 10, 2012 - 6:26 am

    Thank you for stopping by my blog… I look forward to checking out your blog as well… 😀

  7. burgessart
    September 5, 2013 - 2:50 am

    So good to see you introducing people to Johannes Itten


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