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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.