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


Hue is one of the main property describing a color and can be highly simplified as being the color names that gives a particular wavelength (then without white, black or gray)

The average person can distinguish about 150 colors (hues) of light and every one can be described using one or two of only six colors :

  • Red,
  • orange,
  • yellow,
  • green,
  • blue,
  • violet (purple)

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

The human perception distinguishes between:

  • “unique” (psychologically primary)
  • and composite (mixed) hues.

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


A hue is called pure without:

The degree of purity of a hue is defined by the color intensity property.

Documentation / Reference

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