What is Your Color IQ? The Answers
Did you take the color IQ quiz? If not, try it now at this page before taking at the look at the answers below. The answers to the color quiz which are highlighted in yellow. Further detail about each question and answer is under each question.
1. To mix a bright spring green, which yellow and blue would you use?
a. A green-yellow with a red-blue
b. An orange-yellow with a green blue
c. A green-yellow with a green-blue
d. All of the above
If you chose “a” or “b” your green would be a dull green not a bright green because the mixture contains the color opposite of green, which is red. Having even a little bit of red in the yellow or the blue will dull the final green mixture. (Download my free e-book you see in the upper right hand corner to learn more about mixing greens.) In this blog, I demonstrate how to mix a bright green, “Kermit says, Let’s Mix a Bright Green!”
2. When mixing the two secondaries orange and purple, the resulting color is:
b. A burnt sienna
c. A muddy gray
d. I have no clue
It is important to know the results of mixing two secondaries because they often result in colors you may not want. Experiment mixing orange with purple, purple with green and green with orange. You just might be pleasantly surprised. I use these mixtures knowingly all of the time. By the way, the mixture of two secondaries, is called a tertiary.
3. When cadmium yellow (orange-yellow) is mixed with ultramarine blue (red-blue), why is the resulting green a warm or olive green?
a. Both tubes of paint have some red in them
b. Both tubes of paint have some green in them
c. A & B
d. I wish I knew
Knowing the color bias of your primary colors is key to mixing the color you desire. The green mixture will be a muddier or duller green because the color opposite of green, which is red, is in both the cad yellow and the ultramarine blue.
4. Which of the below describes the attributes of each of the tubes of paint you own?
a. Transparency vs. opacity
b. A manufacturer’s unique properties, such as fluidity, thickness, etc.
c. Tintorial strength
e. All of the above
As you know, the attributes/characteristics of each tube of paint is important in mixing, creating textures and layering. In my color class we explore their differences as well as discuss which ones you like given your style, how you like to apply paint and the effects you like to create. To test the transparency and opacity of your tubes of pain, click, “Transparency and Opacity.”
5. To effectively tone down or de-saturate a bright pink, which color would you use?
b. A warm green
c. A cool green
d. All of the above
Pink is created using a blue-red with some white. Hence, the best green to use to tone it down is to use a blue-green or a green with a blue color bias.
6. The phenomenon that explains how colors that are adjacent to one another impact/influence each other, is called:
a. Simultaneous contrast
b. Visual mixing
c. Perceptual opposites
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
Simultaneous contrast is the reason why you may experience the frustration of mixing the ‘perfect’ color on your palette but when you go to apply it on your painting it doesn’t work because of the colors surrounding it. This is an important and interesting concept to learn about. For more information on simultaneous contrast, please visit, “What Key Color Principle is Often Neglected?”
7. Almost all of the blues available on the market:
a. Contain a little of red in them
b. Contain a little of yellow (which makes the blue a green-blue) in them
c. Manufacturers offer about the same quantity of each – 50% red-blues and 50% green-blues
Nearly all of the blues available today are green-blues. Very few carry a red bias and I wish I knew why this is the case.
8. When mixing a pair of color opposites, the two colors are always a combination of all three primary colors.
Let’s use orange and blue as our color opposites. Orange is created by mixing yellow and red. Hence, when you mix orange with blue, you are in fact mixing all three primary colors. The same is true when mixing yellow with purple and red with green.
9. A tertiary color is:
a. Intermediate color between a primary and secondary color on the color wheel
b. A mixture of two secondaries
c. A mixture of three colors
d. All of the above
Most popular literature on color has been misleading painters for years. You know that the mixture of two primaries = a secondary color. Hence, the mixture of two secondaries = a tertiary color. The answer is NOT “a.” See question #2. For a thorough explanation, visit my blog post, “What is the Correct Definition of Tertiary Colors?”
10. If you want to draw attention to a bright blue shape in your painting, what is the most effective strategy or which color would you place next to it?
a. A light color
b. An intense yellow
c. A de-saturated orange
d. A middle gray-blue
This question is based on one of the color laws developed by Michel Chevruel in the early 1800’s. You probably know that color opposites vibrate when next to one another. We do not always want this vibration but we may want the blue to attract attention in our painting. Using its de-saturated color opposite does the trick. This is an effective painting approach to experiment with and we do so in my color class.
11. To create a sense of depth in a painting using color, which of these do you need to execute:
a. Warm or orange reds in the foreground, cool or blue reds in the background
b. Light and de-saturated colors in the background
c. Cool colors in the middle to distant background
d. Warm colors in the foreground
e. All of the above
Creating a sense of depth on a 2-D surface can be a challenge. There are several ways to achieve this using color as well as other design elements. More information on how to create depth in a painting is taught in my Craftsy course, “Acrylic Color Mixing Made Easy!” The principles apply for all media.
12. Why can’t you mix a vibrant purple using cadmium red with a blue?
a. Cadmium red is a blue-red
b. Cadmium red is a red that carries some yellow in it
c. It is not possible to mix a vibrant purple with any red and blue
d. Only purples that come in a tube are vibrant
If you are wanting to mix a vibrant purple it is critical that you not use a red that carries a yellow bias, such as cad red because yellow is the color opposite of purple. The resulting color is not vibrant. For more information on mixing purple, visit my blog, “Red and Blue Don’t Make Purple.”
How did you do? Let me know and feel free to send me any questions you may have in the comments below.
Would you like to end your frustration with color? I adore teaching color live and via my Craftsy online video course “Acrylic Color Mixing Made Easy!” Though I use acrylics in this course, oil and watercolor painters have benefited as well. Color theory crosses all media! Here are a few unsolicited testimonials from this online course.
- 30 years as an art teacher and I’ve never seen a better explanation of color theory as you’ve presented here!
- Best color class I ever took was with Carol A. McIntyre!
- Hi Carol, I’ve just discovered you. Your explanations of colour theory are easy to understand and so informative.
- Thank you very much for a fantastic learning experience! You’re a wonderful teacher.
- Thank you Carol for teaching me this. I have often been frustrated when mixing a color and it looks dull. Now all I have to do is remember which bias my paints are and then I should be able to deliberately mix a bright or dull colour. Thank you, thank you!
- Your class is wonderful and I’m loving it. I’ve never painted before in my life and it’s more fun than I ever expected!
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