Art Principles and History

Form and Style

What is the difference between warm and cool colors?

Warm colors, including hues such as red, yellow, and orange, are energetic colors associated with fire. Warm colors are sometimes referred to as “advancing” colors as they draw the eye forward. By contrast, cool colors (such as blue, green, and violet) are also known as “retreating” colors because they seem to withdraw. Artists manipulate combinations of warm and cool colors to make visually engaging images. Artists can also manipulate the warmth of a color by changing its value.

The color wheel is a tool used by many artists when selecting colors for their works.


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