Color - Hue (Wavelength, type of color) (Shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)


A Hue is a color of the rainbow.

They can be highly simplified as being the color name that gives a particular wavelength (then without white, black or gray)

It is one of the main properties describing a color

The average person can distinguish about 150 colors (hues) of light.

Every one can be described using one or two of only 6 (7) colors :

  • Newton had used a prism to separate daylight and count seven individual colors (hue).
  • There are seven colors in the rainbow
  • Black, white and gray are achromatic (having no hue).

This colors as in the rainbow are defined as pure hue (ie without any admixture of other colors).

The human perception distinguishes between:

Technical definition (in the CIECAM02 model): the degree to which a stimulus can be described as similar to or different from stimuli that are described as the unique hues (red, green, blue, and yellow).


Different hues can be obtained by mixing two primaries, two adjacent colors or two complementary colours in equal or unequal proportions.

See Color - Chroma:

  • Chromatic: Having hue
  • Achromatic: Without hue
  • Polychromatic: Having many hues
  • Monochromatic: Having one hue only



Color Wheel

A color wheel is an abstract illustrative organization of color hues around a circle. Each angle corresponds to a hue.

The variation that you see regularly in color intensity between the center and the edge of the circle is due to a saturation variation (not to a hue one).

HSV Cone

See also the hue saturation value cone.


A unique hue is defined as a color which an observer perceives as a pure, without any admixture of the other colors.

The unique hues are :

  • red,
  • green,
  • blue,
  • and yellow



To remove the hue of a color and get an achromatic color (greyscale color between white and black), you mix the color with its opponent color.

Documentation / Reference

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