LEAP!Tracy HolmesComment

Welcome to the first day of the first week of 'LEAP INTO COLOUR!' a 28-plus-1-day series of blog posts about not just the basics of colour, but also the basics of BreakThroughColour.

Given what this site is all about (and what my personal take on colour is all about) I might have called this series 'Leap Into BreakThrough Colour!' But really, there's so much to talk about about colour in general, and no better place to begin than with the basics, whether you're new to Hue ("Hi, Hue, pleased to meet you."), or primary primed and colour confident, but ready to review, skew, and break through.

Shall we leap? Yes, let's!


We all have different takes on colour, how we learned it, how we use it, why we love it. Artists, scientists, philosophers, designers, inventors, and all the other kids in the kindergarten class have been exploring colour forever, working and playing and coming up with different ways, wheels, trees, triangles, maps, apps and other assorted models to explain, understand, and reference colour. They all work in their own ways, and there are lots (and lots) of different ways to spin the proverbial colour wheel.

BreakThroughColour is my spin on colour. But it's not a wheel. Like a colour wheel, BTC is based on three primary colours, but they may not be the three you have come to know. And in BTC, there are actually more than three.

Uh-oh. Am I losing you? Wait! Don't go! That's why you're here, right? To 'get it.' And I promise, if you keep reading this blog post, and you stick around for the others that will follow in this intro of info, this Basics to BreakThrough boot camp, this 'Leap Into Colour' lexicon, you'll get it. Everything will be as clear as Black on White.

BTW, Black and White? They're colours too.

But never mind all that for now. For now, let's stick to the Basics. And since the traditional colour wheel is so familiar, and it's been the 'go to' tool for so many for so long, we'll reference that to get things rolling...


If you have a colour wheel, it wouldn't hurt to have it handy. If you don't have a colour wheel, you can use this one:


This colour wheel may not look exactly like your colour wheel, but you get the idea. It's colours, in a wheel...

You'll also need a deck of BreakThroughColour Colour Basics Colour Cards.


If you don't have a deck of Colour Basics, that's okay. You can use these:

'Colour Basics' Colour Cards: 64 Hues, Tints, Shades, Tones, and Greys, from White to Black and back again

These on-screen stand-ins are basically the same as the 64 Colour Cards you'll find inside BTC's 'starter deck,' a tidy tuck box not much bigger than a standard deck of playing cards. If you've got the real thing, get 'em out. If you don't, just play along with me. I'll be using the virtual ones. In an online blog series, they work rather well. You can't see the other side, but that's okay. For today, and for the next several lessons, we won't need to worry about the other side. Right now, it's all about the colours. Ooooooh, pretty.

We'll be taking a closer look at all the cards in the Colour Basics collection: 12 pure colour-full HUES; 12 lighter brighter TINTS; 12 deeper darker SHADES; 15 muted TONES; and even a strand of 'colours' without any Hue at all, White, Black, and 9 TRUE GREYS, the 'axis' around which all the other colours spin.

We'll also learn about the 8 Corner Colours, 19 Connectors, 6 Face Cards, 3 Hue Greys, 4 Yellows, 4 Red-Yellows, 4 Reds, 4 Red-Magentas, 4 Magentas, 4 Blue-Magentas, 4 Blues, 4 Blue-Cyans, 4 Cyans, 4 Cyan-Greens, 4 Greens, 4 Green-Yellows, 15 Dark Colours, 18 Medium Colours, 15 Light Colours, 1 Corner Black, 1 Corner White, 1 Axis Black, 1 Axis White, 4 Dark Greys, 4 Medium Greys, 4 Light Greys, 11 Value Code cards, 51 Formula cards, 6 Cube Cards, 1 Cube Key Card, and 2 Jokers... 

Wait a minute. I'm no math whiz (really, I'm not), but even I can tell, that's adding up to more than 64 cards. That's adding up to more than 200! I've heard of 'not playing with a full deck,' but this deck seems fuller than full. What's up with that?

What's up with that is this: delving deeper into what each colour is, why it is, and where it is in relation to all the others, you will see, there's more than one way to stack the deck. Every colour has different ingredients, different qualities, like multiple personalities, and depending on your sort criteria, each card can be grouped with one or many or all the other cards. Mix and match, shuffle and sort. You can't do that with a colour wheel

Up next? We'll say 'How do you do' to Hue.


P.S. I was just joking about the Jokers. There are no Jokers in the 'Colour Basics' deck, or anywhere in BreakThroughColour. Except maybe me.