The use of color in painting has two origins: color space and colorant.
Color space is defined as the application of a color model: it can be realized by a coloring method. Normally such a color space model consists of three or more primary or basic colors, whose mixtures create different shades of color within this color space. Such color spaces provide a clear handling of the shades or tones, in which a color system takes control of the variety of the spectrum. However, the color systems only describe the theoretical principles of color mixing and never the technical implementation of the colored base material. If a painter uses a color system that is based on the mixing of primary colors, the matter of the color is produced by the method, which is determined only by the painter’s choice. In this case, the appearance of a color on the surface is independent of its base material.
Colorant or dye means a material which has the properties to tint other materials. The qualities of colorants are dependent on the binding with respect to the respective medium. The ways of binding the colorant are co-determined by the materials. In contrast to color space the dye or colorant maintains the basic material on the painted surface independently from its appearance. The properties of a colorant determine its hue. In this procedure, the matter and material determine the character of the hue. Both the properties of hue, as saturation and brightness, are limited in their development which also applies to the shade itself.
But how can the representation of a color model provide a clear handling of the colored basic material?
I distinguish between 5 primary colors:
W primary white (White)
M primary red (Magenta)
C primary blue (Cyan)
Y primary yellow (Yellow)
B primary black (Black)
10 secondary colors:
10 tertiary colors:
5 quaternary colors:
and one quinary color:
The tone of the colorant can always be traced back to the primary colors.