I love your approach, I am just amazed about the spherical color model. It lets me see the world in a different light. I am wondering, how the utmost center line looks like, and which is the grey between black and white. And you say 90% is yellow. I just try to understand, not painting at the moment.
Thank you - so glad you're here and are curious about a science-based approach to color design.
At the center of a 3 dimensional color space is the neutral Value pole. I use and reference the Munsell color space - those are the hue, value, chroma notations that you will find in our Paint Color DNA Table.
The scale of grays is between 0=black and 10=white; again, in the Munsell color space and it's called Value.
There is also LRV, Light Reflectance Value. Which I think you may be talking about because you mention 90%. LRV is not the same as Value.
Value tells you how light or dark a color looks.
LRV is a quantity and it tells you how much light a color reflects
Two distinctly different color data points that speak to luminance - just in two different ways.
This is what the LRV Scale looks like - I use sunshine icons to reinforce the fact that LRV indicates an amount of light reflected.
I explain it all in great detail in The Four Pillars of Color course. Hope that helps.
I struggle with the difference between value and LRV. To me they are intricately related--a color with a high value seems to correlate almost perfectly with a high LRV, no? A high value indicates a very light almost white color and a high LRV a color that reflects almost all light. Can you show me a color that has a low LRV and a high value, or vice versa? Or is it merely a matter of semantics?
I have an updated blog post about LRV and paint colors: LRV - The Best Guide for Paint Colors and More!
But I can answer your question here too.
You are correct. Value and LRV are inextricably tied.
They are both under the umbrella of luminance.
Value and LRV answer two different questions about luminance.
LRV is a measurement. It answers the question how much light (luminance) does the color reflect.
Value is visual judgement. It answers the question what does the color's luminance look like when compared to - superimposed on - a scale of neutral grays bracketed in between white and black.
It's necessary to have numeric reference that answers those questions about a color's luminance when specifying color for the built environment.
And I'm kind of obnoxious about reminding people of the fact that LRV is controversial. Comparing LRVs from different sources, like paint brands, is not as effective as many assume it is.
LRV is most reasonably informative when you compare LRV percentages from the same source. Everyone in the loop needs to agree on one standard reference for LRV; it can't be willnilly.
For example, I think Sherwin-Williams has an issue with their LRV numbers - they skew dark. But if the agreed upon standard is the SW Fandeck, then it becomes the atlas for that application.
Benjamin Moore has published approximately 3 different LRV values for their colors over the years. The latest website update seems to align with LRVs published in their older set of fandecks - not the newest architectural kit/fandecks.
@lorisawaya Thank you, Lori, you are so helpful as usual!
Now what do you think about this comment from a Houzz user?
"You literally add purple to yellow to create gray
Purple is Blue + Red
Perfectly neutral gray is achieved when the yellow red and blue are seen equally...."
I have my own thoughts but I wonder what yours are? (You probably know who I am referring to!)
It's an inexperienced, myopic, underinformed statement about the creative art of color mixing.
Because the specific substances being blended matter.
All substances labeled as "purple" or "red" or "yellow" are not equal.
Especially when it comes to colorants for architectural coatings. They are among the most complicated of color mixing substances.
For example, one brand's "black" is not equal to another brands "black". Brand A's black could have a blue signature, Brand B's black could have a greenish signature.
Adding another layer to that, some brands have more than 1 "black" colorant.
If your job is to mix paint colors all day, then the details of all things color mixing substances matters. Because your focus is paint in its liquid state.
If that's not your job, then it doesn't matter if a set of blues and reds end up purple or brown.
When paint dries it changes states and its liquid properties can no longer be managed.
Paint morphs into color.
Color is what we specify, choose and manage. Not colorants. Not paint bases.
And the only way to manage color is with numeric color notations that define and describe color appearance of paint in its final state which is fully cured and dry.
@lorisawaya I have found myself in a paint color selection bind and luckily found you today. I've been reading your posts all evening. They are so informative and have made me look at color in a very different way! We are renovating our home and the painters informed me this morning that I need to have a ceiling paint picked out by Monday! I don't even have a wall or trim color chosen. I realize you can't tell me which paint to choose, but maybe you can lead me in the right direction? Our home faces east, one story, with 8' ceilings, natural stained oak cabinets throughout. It's a complete remodel so the entire home will be painted. I prefer to have the same selections throughout the entire home(same wall paint everywhere etc.)
Would BM China White work as a wall color with BM White Dove as the trim and ceiling? or
White Dove as wall and ceiling and China White as trim? Any insight is much appreciated. There was a communication mishap and I thought I had another 2-3 weeks before painters would be ready.
Thank you so much for any help!
Hello everyone, I'm a new member looking for everyone's help.