top of page

Colour Theory: Hue, Shade (Saturation), Tone & Tint

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

WHAT IS COLOUR THEORY? It's a massive subject and many a book has been dedicated to it, I can tell you that much! Whatever you're doing (painting/decorating/designing/picking out your clothes/choosing products) you're influenced by colour. A captivating and powerful or disharmonious and confusing colour scheme has an impact and you instinctively know whether it sits well or not. I'm going to cover colour theory terminology in this post covering hue, tone, shade (saturation) and tint. I create artworks and have used the main colours in my prints here.

Breaking down into Hue, Shade (Saturation), Tone & Tint. Hue first:

HUE: Hue is pure colour as seen on a tertiary colour wheel. Hue colours do not contain any desaturation or lightness:

TONE: tone is to add grey to a HUE making it a more subtle version of each of the HUE colours.

SHADE: adding black to a HUE (pure colour), determines a HUES intensity/brightness. When the colour's value is altered, the saturation decreases and becomes less brilliant. Adding black lessens the saturation of a colour or creates its shade. I wanted to give the impression of an amber bottle so used the chosen hue colours and added a percentage of black to darken them. HOW CAN YOU USE THIS? Think of your branding and how you can adapt it - do you have a dark and moody vibe? You can still use your favourite colour but just take it a few shades darker, it can really change the impression.

TINT: tint is a hue with white added (if you want to lend a light and airy feel).

I use my instagram account here to launch these prompts. Please follow me to help me help you!

Kind regards,



bottom of page