Sunday, April 3, 2011

Color Theory for Non-Artists Part III - Hues, Tints, Shades and Tones

I am writing a series on beginning color theory for my "other" interest, makeup.  Since it's an obvious crossover, I thought I'd post here too.  <3 Krissi  Originally posted at  Click the badge in the sidebar to follow all of my makeup antics on facebook.

Now that you're familiar with the color wheel (from Part I of this series) and understand analogous colors (defined in Part II of this series), we can learn about creating some very pretty looks by combining tints, shades and/or tones of the same hue.

Scratching your heads over these terms? Don't worry, Krissi will explain.
  • Hue - these are the brightest, purest and most saturated forms of color. In the Wheel O' Piggies, these would be the inside ring of colors.
  • Tint - often referred to as pastels, tints are achieved by adding white to a hue.
  • Shade - shades are achieved by adding black to a color ,but many people will misuse "shade" to mean tints, hues and tones as well.
  • Tone - are grayed out versions of colors and are very popular this year with people really digging the 'smoky eye' look.
Madd Style Cosmetics Madd Piggiez showing examples of hues/tints/shades
Teals: Tron, Ol '55, Vortex / Blues: Aja, Brad, Space Oddity

In this look, I used colors from the Madd Style Cosmetics Rocky Horror collection to go from white in the inner corner to black (liner) with a blue tint, hue and shade in between:
"Columbia Loves Eddie" created using Madd Style Cosmetics Madd Piggiez
from the Rocky Horror Picture Show Collection
Columbia (white), Eddie (blue), Time Warp (black) and Magenta (red-violet)
I started with a blue hue on the right 3/4ths of my lid; I then added white, creating a light blue tint (because a hue + white = tint). I left the blue unblended on the third quarter of my lid and then added black  in the outer "V" to create a dark blue shade (because a hue + black = shade).

Here, this might help a little...

Because this look was done with basically ONE color and adding white or black to it, the pigments blend from one to another seamlessly.  This is a fantastic technique for those of you new to blending - you get a chance to practice and even your "failures" look flawless, and you can try it with purples, greens, pinks.... etc., and can add a grey to create a more subtle "tone" instead of going with a black.

Now, while I created the tint/hue/shade effect in "Columbia Loves Eddie" by actually adding white and black to a single hue, it's not necessary to be so literal.  You can choose premixed colors that appear to your eye to be lighter (tint), darker (shade) or greyed out (tone) than your basic color (hue).

For example:
Pixie (a light purple "tint"), Electric Kool Aid (a pure purple "hue"), Headstrong* (a dark purple "shade")
 with Glitter & Doom in the crease (a greyed out purple "tone")
(All colors by Madd Style Cosmetics except * by Brazen Cosmetics)

To create this effect, I applied four separate pigments as if I had taken a purple and added white, black and grey.  The lavender on the inner third of my lid appears to be lighter than the purple in the center, therefore, for these purposes, we'll say it's a tint.  Likewise with the very dark purple on the outer corner - I didn't really add black to my purple pigment, but it kinda looks like I did.   The purple in the center is fully saturated and bright, so it's a "hue" while the crease color is lighter, but a bit muddy, so it's a "tone."

Makeup is all about effect, so don't worry about being too literal here.

Pretty cool, huh? Now you try! And remember, there aren't really any absolute right answers here. It's just how your eye perceives the relationship between the colors.

Take a look at the inner ring of colors and let's call them, for the sake of discussion, "hues."   Now look at the pigments that radiate out.  How do they look in comparison to the hues? Are they shades (darker), tints (lighter) or tones (lighter, but muddy)?

Go try this with your own makeup collection and practice with a look or two.

NEXT: Part IV - Complementary Colors