Some questions about color
Be prepared to discuss in class on Thursday, February 25
CS 99D - The Science of Art
Winter Quarter, 1999
Pretend that you are a Renaissance painter. You just finished reading
Leonardo's introductory comments on color (p. 70-76), and you are trying to
decide if he is right. Attempting not to use any knowledge you may have of
modern scientific color theory, try to answer the following questions. You do
not have to turn in your answers; just be prepared to state and defend them in
class. Since you are all working on your final project (or should be), this
quickie warm-up exercise on color is the only work I will require on the topic
Here are a few other questions (not from Leonardo) that I would like you to
Do you agree with Leonardo's definition of "simple" colors? (p. 72)
How would you explain the complementary effects that he observes? (p. 73)
Why do we not see colors in a very dimly illuminated room? (p. 73)
Why does a surface that appears colored in a moderately dimly illuminated room
turn colorless when viewed through an aperture from a bright room? (p. 74)
How can you see a body "wholly in its natural color?" (p. 74)
How many primaries are there? What are they? (p. 72)
What defines a purely white source of illumination?
What are the appropriate color scales for use by painters?
What shape should the color solid be? Why?
Copyright © 1998 Marc Levoy
Monday, 19-Apr-1999 14:37:41 CDT