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salvatore on Colour


Logical, clear explanations on colour


Colour symbolism

Yellow: most light giving of all colours (radiant, lacking transparency, knowledge)

Red: Sex, combat, action

Blue: contracted, introverted, ethereal, spiritual, vibrant in darkness

Green: Fruitful, content

Orange: festive, proud, ostentatious

Violet: Mysterious, oppresive, charming & delicate (tinted with white)

To equal the luminosity of each: Yellow (3), red (6), Blue (8)

Primary, secondary and complementary colors

  • The 3 primary (red, yellow and blue) and 3 secondary colours (orange, green and purple), plus black and white are the only colours in nature.
  • All other colors are simply a brighter, duller, lighter or darker version of these colors.

Read more on Salvatore’s website


Basic Palette for Color Mixing

  • Primary palette: Alizarin Crimson (cool), Ultramarine Blue (warm) and Cad Yellow Lt (cool)
  • Extended primary palette: Cad red lt (warm), Cobalt blue (cool) and Indian yellow (warm)

You now have a warm and a cool for each primary colour.

  • Secondary colours palette: Cadmium orange, Dioxazine purple/Cobalt violet and Cadmium Green

If you buy the secondaries “pre-made” they will be more intense in colour than if you mixed them yourself.

  • Full palette: Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, Sap Green

All beautifully explained on Salvatore’s website.


How to mix colors

Step by step process to mix any colour.

1. OBSERVE and ask 4 questions

  1. What colour/hue is it (yellow, orange, red, purple, blue or green only)?
  2. What is the tone (dark, light or medium)?
  3. What is the intensity (bright = high, low = more greyed or medium)? This tells you the saturation.
  4. What is the exact colour temperature (i.e. if red, is it more yellow/orange red or blue/purple red)?

2. SELECT the colour closest

3. ANALYZE if it’s warner or cooler, lighter or darker, more intense/bright or less intense


  • Adjust if lighter/darker
  • Adjust saturation/intensity
  • Adjust hue/temperature if warmer or cooler

Repeat steps 3 and 4 til correct.

Beautifully explained in detail with pictures on Salvatore’s website


Tone, tint, saturation, shade explained







Neutral grey: mix primaries (place neutral greys near colour to create beautiful effect and bring out colour)


1 Comment

  1. salvatore says:

    I abandoned my blog for a while and I haven’t noticed your share. Thanks. I am more concentrated on italian blog and my big audiece. But I decided to put more energy on english blog too. I am going to move it on (not yet active). Stay tuned.

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