RGB Chart and Colour Tool A simply amazing website, showing the relation between most any colour in RGB and any number of other ways of rendering the same or a similar colour, including hexadecimal coding and Pantone. Eventually, I hope to collate RGB and hex colours for the Tree (Pantone codes would be nice too) — or encourage someone else to do so.
The Invention of Colour A wonderful article featured on Medievalists.net (or available directly from the author). It’s a reproduction of a talk given in 2001 by Philip Ball, a writer and editor for Nature. He discusses the use of colour in antiquity and how various pigments were derived, moving through the Middle Ages and the alchemical connections to colour. “…Alchemical or ‘sophic’ sulphur and mercury were considered to be somewhat abstract substances, different from the real sulphur and mercury one could extract from the earth. But nevertheless, if you mix these two raw elements together and heat them, something miraculous happens. The dirty yellow sulphur and the silvery mercury combine to form a hard, blackish red material: mercury sulphide, which turns bright red when finely ground. Painters knew it as vermilion.” Much more along those lines from the Renaissance up to the Twentieth Century.
Windsor Newton Colour Charts This is the one for acrylic paint, but there are other downloadable colour charts on their site as well. Would like to track down their 1890’s colour charts — and then relate those to hex codes (which probably is overly optimistic, but i’ve not yet tried).
Wikipedia List of Colours A late-discovered, but very useful colour resource is this very long list of colours with names, ‘hex triplets’ (that don’t always agree with the ones used in the Trees on this site) and RGB percentages. On colour names, they note: “… Color naming is fuzzy and arbitrary, and varies among people and cultures, with no single swatch adequately representing any particular color name.”
Another helpful feature this page will lead to are the articles for various groups of colours, such as Violet that provide a description of the colour, it’s origins and use. Included are the spectral wavelength and frequency and a range of variations of the particular colour. Wikipedia’s article on Colour Space and gamuts also helped with understanding different ways of seeing and defining colour.
4096 Colour WheelAnother cool web colour tool, showing hex codes for web-safe, web-smart and unsafe colours side by side, as the mouse moves over a colour wheel.
A gentleman wrote suggesting the ImageLR Color Picker as another useful tool, and it is. You upload an image and then move the mouse around and a hex code value as well as RGB numbers are revealed. It’s very sensitive and I noticed it seems to use different hex code values than some other sites, but all good fun in the process of understanding colour.
Color Vision & Art This ‘Web Exhibit’ engagingly presents a great deal of visual and factual information, including Goethe’s huge treatise on colour published in 1810 that recognised colour was personal and not just mechanical.
The Color Basics page(s) — part of The Realm of Color site — cover colour-related topics like Color Terminology, the Origin of Colors, Color symbolism and so on, often with further reading referenced. A good introduction to the nonesoteric perspective.
I very much enjoyed this article on Impossible Color in Wikipedia. “Different color theories suggest different hypothetical colors that humans are incapable of seeing for one reason or another, and fictional colors are routinely created in popular culture,” it says and then addresses Imaginary colors, Chimerical colours, Stygian colors, Hyperbolic colors, fictional colors and more. Make me think of clairvoyant colours and their varying degrees of perception in humans.
Munsell Color — among a vast amount of other colour-related information — hosts an interesting article called Hear the Rainbow about the ‘sonificatiaon’ of a three dimensional colour space. In addition to an interesting discussion on optics and colour theory, it notes that “…when analysing the cognitive research into the average person’s cross-sensory perceptual abilities, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that we all have an inherent level of Synaesthesia lying within our memories and the unavoidable interactions with the organic world. Whether we are aware of this or not, is a different statement…..Hear the rainbow uses this core concept of human sensory perception to provide a synaesthetic experience for the everyday person; turning colour into sound by emulating the way our brain and body processes colour.” Worth exploring.
The Physics Classroom provide an excellent resource with their Stage Lighting Interactive. It allows you to see what happens when you change the spot lighting on a cartoon actor and shows the different effects of coloured light.
There is so much more to be added here over time — including links to The Seven Rays, Colour Healing, Color Frequencies and their relationship to Sound and more. I will add more as I come across them.
For links to additional information about the Golden Dawn Colour Scales and the like, please see the bottom of the Golden Dawn page.
Suggestions of additional resources and teachings in this area are very welcome.