Saturation is a color's freedom from white and black. A pure hue is more saturated than a color that has been mixed with white, black, gray or the hue's complementary color. The following are illustrative examples of color saturation.
IntensityReducing the intensity of color deceases its saturation. For example, if your phone goes into power saving mode while you are shopping for pants the phone may reduce the intensity of the display to save power. This reduces the saturation of color such that you may be surprised at your purchase when it arrives. The following are the same color captured on the same computer screen at an intensity setting of 100% and 20%.You can test this yourself by changing the intensity of your screen and the image on the left will appear far darker and less colorful.
Mixing HuesGenerally speaking, mixing hues creates a new hue that is no less saturated. This requires a subtractive color system such as watercolor paint that allows colors to be mixed. The theoretical results of color mixing aren't always the same as realities due to factors such as the chemical properties of paint or ink.
Mixing ComplementsComplementary colors are colors that are at maximum contrast with each other. Mixing complementary hues results in a grey color that is less saturated than the two input colors.
TintsSaturation is a color's brightness when compared to white. Mixing any color with white, known as tinting, reduces its contrast with white and thus also reduces color saturation.
ShadesMixing a color with black, known as shading, reduces the intensity of a color and thus also reduces color saturation.
Mixing with GrayGrays can be produced with white and black. As such, mixing a hue with gray has the effect of both shading and tinting. This reduces color saturation.
|Definition (1)||A color's freedom from white and black.|
|Definition (2)||The degree of a color's intensity and contrast with white.|
|Definition (3)||The colorfulness of a color.|
This is the complete list of articles we have written about color theory.
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