The world of colours is well, colourful! Some colours are easy to create and others, impossible. Different colours inspire different emotions. Some are warm while others soothe. Let us take a look at some interesting aspects that colour our lives
KNOW YOUR COLOURS
Primary Colours: These are colours that cannot be created by mixing other colours. They are colours in their own right. Only three primary colours exist. These are red, yellow and blue.
Secondary Colours: A colour created by mixing two primary colours is called a secondary colour. Secondary colours include green, purple and orange. It is important to remember that to create secondary colours, you need to start with true primary colours.
Tertiary Colours: A colour created by combining primary and secondary colours is called a tertiary colour. There are six tertiary colours: red-orange, yelloworange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet.
EMOTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH COLOURS
Colours are typically divided into warm colours like shades of yellow, red and orange and cool colours, like hues of blue, green and violet.
WHAT DO COLOURS SIGNIFY?
Red: Danger, excitement, fire, blood, fight or flight
Purple: Wealth, royalty, sophistication, intelligence
Blue: Silence, serenity, truth, dignity, constancy
Black: Sophistication, elegance, power, rebellion
White: Purity, cleanliness
Yellow: The sun in many cultures, brightness
Green: Nature, fresh, vegetation, health
A rainbow can be defined as a band of colours assembled as an arc from red on the inside to violet on the outside - that is formed by reflection and refraction or bending of the sun's rays inside raindrops. Rainbows are often seen towards the end of the monsoon season. They usually appear when it is raining in one part of the sky and sunny in the other.
Some Interesting Facts About Rainbows
- When you see a rainbow, the sun is always behind you and the rain in front of you, so the centre of the rainbow's arc is directly opposite the sun.
- Most people think the rainbow is made up of seven colours, but a rainbow is actually made up of an entire continuum of colours - even colours the eye can't see!
- We are able to see the colours of a rainbow because light of different colours is refracted when it travels from one medium, such as air, into another medium, in this case, the water of the raindrops. When all the colours that make up sunlight are combined, they look white, but once they are refracted, the colours break up into the different shades we see in a rainbow.
- You can never actually see the end of a rainbow. As you move, the rainbow that your eyes see moves as well, because the raindrops are at different spots in the atmosphere. The rainbow therefore, always 'moves away' at the same rate at which you are moving.
WHY ARE FLOWERS SO COLOURFUL?
Flowers that are bright in colour are meant to attract birds, bees and other insects for the purpose of pollination. The fruits of such plants are also sweet and pleasant to taste. A bright flower and sweet pollen attracts birds, bees and insects that land on it. As these animals feed on the plants honey, some of the pollen sticks to their feet. When they move from this flower to another, some of that pollen also gets transferred to the other flower. This is how pollination occurs.
THE MOST COLOURFUL TREE ON EARTH
The Rainbow Eucalyptus or Mindanao gum is the only species of eucalyptus tree found in the northern hemisphere. The bark of this 70metres tall tree is very colourful. There are times when it appears to be yellow, green, orange and even purple! The unusual phenomenon is caused due to a bark that sheds as patches at different times. The different colours are therefore indicators of the age of the bark. Freshly shed outer bark will reveal the bright green inner bark. This darkens over time and changes from blue to purple and then takes on orange and maroon tones.
HOW DO ANIMALS USE COLOUR?
The best example of animals using colour can be seen in chameleons. There are lots of reasons why chameleons change colour. One of the chief reasons they change colour is for camouflage. Chameleons make use of the external light, temperature and mood to find the right colour to change into, in order to protect themselves from their predators. But this does not mean that chameleons can take on any colour they wish to! Each chameleon species has its own colour range. But most chameleons change between green, brown and grey - usually the colours of their surroundings. Sick chameleons will stay pale because they don't have the energy to change colour. Chameleons can change their colour because of a very complex cell system. Beneath their transparent skins are several cell layers which contain pigments. We also have pigments, which cause our skin to darken in the sun. By opening and closing cells called melanophores, chameleons change their skin colour. The cells direct the sun to specific pigments, which reflect the light back in different colours.