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Color Theory Quiz

This quiz tests your knowledge of color theory and the terms that are used to describe it in art and design. Each correct answer contains a link to more information about that theory or term.

Question 1: What is the origin of color?

Color Wheel

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Refracted Light

Around 1671-72, Sir Isaac Newton discovered the origin of color when he refracted a beam of light through an angular prism and split it into the spectrum - the various colors of the rainbow. This simple experiment demonstrated that color comes from light - in fact, that color is light.

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Question 2: What are additive colors?

Additive and Subtractive Colors

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Additive and Subtractive Color

Additive color involves the mixing of colored light. Subtractive color involves the mixing of colored paints, pigments, inks and dyes.

Question 3: What class of colors are highlighted in this illustration?

Tertiary Colors

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Analogous colors sit next to one another on the color wheel.

Question 4: What class of colors are highlighted in this illustration?

Secondary Colors

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Secondary colors are green, orange and purple.

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Question 5: What class of colors are highlighted in this illustration?

Primary Colors

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Primary colors are red, yellow and blue.

Question 6: What class of colors are highlighted in this illustration?

Complementary Colors

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Opposite or complementary colors are diagonally opposite one another on the color wheel.

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Question 7: What class of colors are highlighted in this illustration?

Tertiary Colors

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Tertiary colors are achieved by mixing primary and a secondary colors that are adjacent to one another on the color wheel.

Question 8: Which art movement was interested in trying to capture the changing effects of color in nature?

Impressionism

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Impressionism was the art movement where artists tried to capture the changing effects of light on the landscape by using a more exact analysis of tone and color.

Question 9: What class of colors are used to express the noise and activity of this dockyard scene.

Fauvism

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André Derain the Fauve artist, uses the clash between opposite or complementary colors to express the noise and activity of this busy dockyard.

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Question 10: What class of colors are used in this painting to express a sense of fun and excitement.

Jim Dine

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Jim Dine, the American Pop artist, uses primary colors applied with expressive brushstrokes to convey a sense of fun and excitement.