Colors, when used correctly, can guide the eye to what’s important.
It can help to tell a story. Or change the mood of the scene.
When used incorrectly, it can break the scene. Even to non-artists, anyone can see when something is wrong with the picture/drawing. A more advanced artist can point it out, whereas anyone else could see there’s something off but may not be able to point.
Intensity or purity of the color
Brightness/Darkness of the color
Biggest mistakes; most amateur artists use highly saturated colors believing it will make it look like their work look better.
Always using highly saturated colors not only makes it look fake but using it everywhere in the picture gives the eye nowhere to rest.
But using saturated colors is not bad of course. They can help paint key parts to a picture, directing the eye.
It can also help tell a story. In older history paintings, Jesus is usually wearing red because, when saturated, the color stands out most among the rest, brings attention to him and makes him look more powerful and mighty.
In cartoons, there’s usually a lot more saturated colors. Hinting to the viewer that it’s fake but still pleasant to look at.
In the movie UP, the beginning was very saturated and colorful, showing happiness and joy. But as the story went on, it took a change and with it the colors desaturated. A good example of setting the mood and scene.
This trick is used a lot in movies.
Saturation and Value:
Why some colors look better together than others.
Color schemes, complimentary colors, color harmonies…
Example painting was done in only red by changing the saturation and value:
Note: Cool and warm colors are naturally complementary.
Tetratic (double complementary)
Use Color Harmonies for pleasing combinations