Saturday, 4 May 2013

04.05 Muted Colours

Muted colours abound in nature, very much more so than bright colours (which are more common in man-made environments). They are referred to as low-saturation, desaturated or subdued colours; and sometimes unflatteringly as 'washed-out', 'less-than-pure', muddy, shadowy or broken colours. Perhaps the way we use language to describe muted colours is indicative of how our attention is more immediately captured by high-contrast, colour-saturated images. But the converse can also be true; that although low-saturation images can have a beauty that is slower to realise, they can have a more enduring appeal.

In terms of composition, muted colours can:
  • lend better opportunities to work with members of the same sector in the colour wheel;
  • offer subtlety and refinement; and
  • project important moods such as gloominess, foreboding, calmness, and contemplativeness.

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