I had a greyscale painting of a parakeet kicking around today and thought it might be interesting to see what happened if I applied colour using modular scales in photoshop. The images have turned out pretty much as I would have expected with relatively smooth transitions through spectrum.
There is a very handy little Modular scale tool produced by Tim Brown which can be found here http://modularscale.com/. Primarily concerned with typography the tool is intended to determine optimum text sizes; but if we can substitute ideal text size for a number which is relevant to our activity the results can still be applied. We enter the units with which we want to formulate our scale and the tool does all the clever maths stuff for us.
I want to see what my row of parakeets look like if I apply the modular scale of 1:1.618 (the golden ratio) to my colour choices.
I calculate my scale using 180, as this is in the centre of the Hue bar and 7 as I have 7 parakeets in my row.
Using the Hue/saturation window to colour my image I check the colourise box and set the hue bar to the following values to the layers consecutively.
77, 111, 125, 180, 203, 291, 328
Using the same scale within the colour balance window but with the ideal number being 10 and 7
18, 26, 29, 42, 47, 68, 77
The result is a really gradual increase in saturation.
An equally harmonious but less subtle graduation can be achieved by selecting non-consecutive values from the scale at regular intervals. E.g. 18, 42, 77
I know there are hundreds of far more sophisticated ways of colouring artworks but it’s just a little experiment. I actually don’t like to alter artwork too much on the computer, what will be really interesting is to see if I can recreate these formulaic graduations with paint.