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Nifty little color game

I’m wasting time when I should be painting.  Speaking of painting, have you ever made a paint color boo-boo?  I once painted my office the wrong shade of green.  I thought a nice shade of bright green would cheer up that north facing room.  While the name of the paint color is long forgotten, the result was so vibratingly bright acid green that it gave me negative afterimage.  Back to the paint store I went and came back with Sassafrass Tea(?) and immediately started painting over my mistake.  Then a weird thing happened.  Sassafrass Tea rolled on red.  It was green in the paint can and red on the walls.  Either the fumes were getting to me or my retinas were burning out.  Would I have to paint it a third time??

When it dried, it turned out to be fine but it made me understand the hues that go into paints can really make a difference and it’s not until you layer them on top of each other that those differences become noticeable.  I also learned that if you want to tone down a color that is too bright or fluorescent, choose a similar color with more red in it.

So, how good is your color sense?  According to X-Rite, “1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency.”

To find out how well you can discriminate between colors, take this handy test.  It’s fun and only takes about 5 minutes of your time.  Your challenge is to arrange the color blocks in order from left to right.  0 is a perfect score and 99 is, um, problematic.

And here’s mine:

Finally something I’m good at, even if there’s no way to making a living at it. But it probably explains how I *finally* managed to find just the right shade of cream for my bathrooms that wouldn’t offend either the tile or the marble.  No mean feat.  It makes me think that having the requisite number of rods and cones is not enough. You really need to train them and make a lot of mistakes along the way.  It looks like there are studies that back this up.

I don’t know if there is a trick to this but once you have all of your colors lined up, scan across the row and if any of them “pop out” at you as if they are in 3D, it’s probably in the wrong place.  Moving it left or right by 1-2 spaces should fix it.  Keep scanning until none of them pop out.  Also, another oddity was when the colors were all lined up correctly, I saw the spectrum clearly and the dominant hue seemed to drop away.  If that makes sense to you, the lineup is probably right.


10 Responses

  1. You must be good! I’m sure I’ve spent 5 minutes on it already (at least it FEELS like it) and I’m not quite done with the first row!!

    • My eyes are jumping all over the place. I think I’ve got to take a break!!

    • You’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
      Do the coarse sort first. Try to match the closest colors to the ones at both ends. Once you do that, it gets easier because the ones in the middle will look like they belong on one side or the other. Then just drag them to the right side.
      That’s where it starts to look tricky. But I think there is an optical illusion when the colors line up perfectly. You *will* see the spectrum sweep across the colors and the fact that they are all shades of red or green or blue will be less noticeable.
      If you don’t see it, it’s probably not right yet. When the last color clicked into place for me, I saw it but not before.

      • Yeah, that happened on the first line just like you said (and I used the same technique) but then the color boxes started making my eyes hurt. My left eye still hurts. Maybe it’s my monitor.

        • Little boxes on the hillside,
          Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
          Little boxes on the hillside,
          Little boxes all the same.
          There’s a green one and a pink one
          And a blue one and a yellow one,
          And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
          And they all look just the same.

          • Maybe it should be:
            Little boxes on the monitor,
            Little boxes made of RGB
            Little boxes on the monitor,
            Little boxes all the same.
            There’s a green one and a pink one
            And a blue one and a yellow one,
            And they’re all made out of RGB
            And they all look just the same.

  2. While I wait for my eyeballs to settle down, I’ll mention that my nephew, Ring Hendricks-Tellefsen is Physics Nerd in The Amazing Spider-Man !!! It’s a small speaking role. And I think he appears in a couple of scenes!!

    • That’s great! He looks like he could do physics nerd. He looks like Adrian Brody with curly hair.
      Did he have to join the union?

  3. I scored an 8. my problem was not the colors, but the different shades kept looking like they were darker and lighter and for that reason they would stand out and look like they needed to be moved.

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