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How To Select Colors

The Natural Laws of Tints, Tones, Shades and Hues.

Some combinations of color are pleasing to the eye, and some are
discordant. The reasons for this are based on natural laws and are
explained in a very simple manner in a learned article by Dr. W. K. Carr
which originally appeared in Shop Notes Quarterly. Impressions continue
upon the retina of the eye, says Dr. Carr, about one-sixth of a second
after the object has been moved. For this reason a point of light or
flame whirled swiftly around appears as a continuous ring. Or take a
piece or red ribbon, place it on white paper, look intently at it for
thirty seconds and suddenly remove the ribbon. The portion of the paper
which was covered by the ribbon will then appear green. The explanation
is that the color sensation in the eye is caused by the almost
unthinkably rapid whirling of electrons around their atoms, and that the
retina, becoming fatigued by the vibration of the red, is therefore less
sensitive to them. When the ribbon is suddenly removed, the eye sees,
not the blue, yellow and red which produce the white surface of the
paper, but, because of the fatigue of the eye to the red, it sees only
the blue and yellow constituents of the white light. But blue and yellow
produce green; hence the tendency at the eye to see the complementary of
a color. This may be referred to as the successive contrast of colors.

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