The Perception of Color

The perception of color happens in our brain. For the vision at daylight, over our retina we have 3 different photoreceptors, which are often called red cones, blue cones and green cones.  They all send signals and the brain interprets them. Thanks to the different intensity of those 3 colors every color can be perceived. On the other hand, for night vision, we have only 1 kind of photoreceptors,  (called rods), and that’s why the vision is colorless. This is the biological explanation, although simplified, of course.

But the perception of color is also a psychological and personal experience, that’s why we all see colors differently, according to various factors, age for example. But also context and memories play a role. In fact, those photoreceptors are not distributed evenly, so where they are missing the brain sees what it expects to see, according to personal experiences.

So, perception of color is definitely something subjective.

In nature light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.”
-Hans Hofmann

(Readings in American Art 1900-1975, Rose Barbara (1975, page 117)

You can have a look on my website and see how I play with color 🙂

If you are blessed with an elderly person living with you, you might want to check my next post: “The Perception of color and age”.






By Lucia Waterson

I write poems (exclusively in Italian). What I love in working with colours is that it's a direct language with no barriers. And I like how it brings me into my dreamworld. I'm fond in particular of nature, because in its beauty there is love and hope. I started a new series of artworks Weird but True, because many times nature can be quite bizarre! And the first one, Nature's palette, is already uploaded, you can see it in my website I also started a new series of artworks, in which I select news from all over the world and I recount them to you through my eyes and my (he)art. We can take this ongoing journey together if you keep visiting. The first artwork is already uploaded, it's called Touching the sky. Thank you very much! Lucia Waterson

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