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Learn about colour with the Everywhere colour series

Human eyes have approximately 12 million rods and 7 million cones in them – that's a lot of things in a small place! These help us to see everything around us, including sending colour information to our brain so that it can help us to see colour.

Colour can be bright or dull, warm or cold, natural or made artificially. It can be blue, red, yellow, purple, orange, green and much more! Sometimes you may hear people call something a 'hue'. Hue is just another name for pure colour that does not have white or black in it.

Tiny particles of colour called pigments are what gives plants, animals, humans and minerals their colouring. They are also used to colour paints and dyes made by humans. Pigments absorb colours but reflect their own colour. What this means is that a green pigment will absorb all colours except green, which it will reflect. When you mix paints or pigments different colours are absorbed and reflected and this is how we can create lots of different colours.

The Everywhere colour series is designed for children and will cover lots of things about colour and has projects you can try out for yourself to find out how things work. Colour is magical and lots of fun to experiment with... enjoy!

Teachers/schools – you are welcome to copy any or all of the Everywhere colour series resources and use them with your students to further their knowledge of colour.

Everywhere colour series modules

Changing colour

Changing colour

Some colours can seem almost invisible but will change when they are heated. Years ago prisoners used to write secret notes using their saliva or sweat and smuggle them out to friends and family. The notes would look like a blank piece of paper. When the other person received the notes they would heat them up and the words that had been written would change colour so they could be read... view module.


Colour and nature

Colour and nature

The colours we see outside change each day and throughout the day depending on the amount of light. On a sunny day everything looks brighter and more colourful. On a rainy day everything looks duller and greyer. At night everything looks grey or black depending on the moonlight and artificial lighting... view module.


Colour in art

Colour in art

You can use lots of different colours and mediums to create artwork. Sometimes you might use dry mediums, such as crayons and chalk. Sometimes you might use wet mediums, such as paints and dyes. Sometimes you might use both together! Each type of medium will affect the colour you see and also how you create the picture... view module.


Colour of light

Colour of light

The primary colours for paint are yellow, red and blue. When you are working with things that create light, such as torches, the three primary colours are red, green and blue. Yellow is not a primary colour of light... view module.


Colour wheels

Colour wheels

The best way to learn how colours work together is with a colour wheel. Colour wheels are made using the colour spectrum and help decorators put colour schemes together... view module


Decorating colour

Decorating colour

Humans respond to colour. Yellow reminds us of happy faces and smiles, white is neutral and restful, red can be exciting. By changing the colours in a room, we can change a room from a happy room into a cold room. Think about some of the places you may have been recently and what colours they were painted... more


Dissolving colour

Dissolving colour

If you have ever left a note in your pocket when your clothes have been washed you will know that colours can dissolve making it impossible to read the note. Each colour pigment is made up using a mixture of colours. The human eye can’t see the individual colours unless the colour is split. You can split colour using chromatography, which dissolves colours to see what they contain... view module


Dotted colour

Dotted colour

Television and computer screen colours work differently to paint colours. Instead of having red, blue and yellow as the primary colours, the primary colours are red, blue and green. This is because the screens work with coloured light rather than paints to get their colours... view module


Everywhere colour

Everywhere colour

Human eyes have approximately 12 million rods and 7 million cones in them – that’s a lot of things in a small place! These help us to see everything around us, including sending colour information to our brain so that it can help us to see colour... view module


Eyes and rainbows

Eyes and rainbows

Sometimes when it rains the sun shines. This is when you may see a rainbow... view module


Filtering colour

Filtering colour

When you go to concerts or shows you will often see huge spotlights shining onto the stage with different coloured cellophane taped over the front of the light... view module


Illusion and tricks with colour

Illusion and tricks with colour

Colours can look different depending on lots of things, such as how much there is of the colour and what other colours are next to them. This section shows you lots of different ways that colours trick our eyes... view module


Making colour - Dye

Making colour – Dye

Dyes are used to colour many of the things we see and use everyday, including food, hair and clothing. Dyes can be natural (made from plants) or synthetic (made by humans). Natural dyes are usually the strongest dyes... view module


Mixing colour

Mixing colour

Visit a paint shop, like your local Resene ColorShop, and you will see thousands and thousands of colours. All of these colours are made by mixing the pigment primary colours of red, yellow and blue in different amounts. Every variation in the colours gives you a different paint colour. If you add a little more yellow, the colour will appear yellower. Add more blue and it will become bluer... view module


Reflecting colour

Reflecting colour

Tiny particles of colour called pigments are what gives plants, animals, humans and minerals their colouring. They are also used to colour paints and dyes made by humans. Pigments absorb colours but reflect their own colour... view module


Safety colour

Safety colour

Warm colours advance and appear closer than they are, while cool colours recede and appear further away. Brighter colours also appear closer as they stand out against other duller colours. To keep people safe, colours such as bright orange and bright red are used as safety colours... view module


Seeing colour – Animals

Seeing colour – Animals

We see everything around us in various colours but many animals can’t see colour as humans do and instead they see everything in shades of grey. For example, cats can’t detect colour at all, so they see everything in black, white or tones of grey... view module


Seeing colour - Humans

Seeing colour – Humans

Humans can see differences in the wavelengths of colours. This helps us to tell colours apart. Special cells on the retinas of our eyes detect red, green and blue colours in light, as well as black and white, which helps us see at night when there is little light... view module

 

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Welcome to our World of Colour!™
Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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