Hues, tones, shades and tints can be confusing and the terms are often used in place of each other. In reality, each one is a different colour concept.
Hues are the purest and the brightest colours, shown on the inside of the colour wheel below. They are what we usually mean when we ask ‘what colour is that'?’
Tints may also be called pastels. They can be seen in the inside of the colour wheel above – they are simply hues with white added to them. They are light and airy and pretty, and create a soft, soothing look, perfect for baby or soft feminine pages.
Shades are hues with black added to them. This obviously makes them darker than the original colour. Adding black can create depth and mystery and shades are often used in masculine layouts.
Finally there are tones. These are hues with both white and black (or shades of grey) added. This ‘muddies’ or dulls the purity of the colour but can also offer a more sophisticated colour palette than the above. Tones can often be easier to use in scrapbook layouts as they happily take a back seat and let your photographs become the focus.
In Danielle's page she uses a range of tones - colours with varying amounts of both black and white added. While it seems that tones would tend toward dark colours, Danielle has used various lighter colours but in their tonal versions. For instance, the sage green of Websters' bloomers is a slightly dirty version of the colour, and the dusty pinks the feature in Basic Grey's Out of Print range are also echoed in the die-cuts from Anna Griffin's Carmen range.
Danielle's slightly hazy processing of the photo she chose also suits the tones of colours used here, giving a bit of a vintage feel to the whole layout. A water-soluble crayon in grey has been used to soften the patterned paper around the photo area, and a rectangle has been cut out of the Out of Print paper. This was then flipped over to the other side, trimmed down and used as a photo mat.
Kathie's page uses tints - colours with varying degrees of white added. We often call them pastels. Pastel coloured scrapbook pages are usually associated with pages about babies or little girls, but not so much with boys. But now, after creating this delightful page, Kathie’s wondering why she hasn’t used pastels more often in her pages about Jamie.
She has used mainly Prima’s Jack and Jill papers, with some items from their Botanical and Celebrate lines mixed in. With a son who’s five and a half going on 15, Kathie worries about her pages looking to babyish these days. No chance of that here, even on a pastel page, with the addition of elements in tones of soft brown. (Can brown be a pastel ? We guess it can if you add white to it and create a tint!) Kraft cardstock, aged stickers and twine help to add masculine depth.
These two pages are by Karola Witczak, from Poland. Karola is well known for her beautiful pastel pages. She has the wonderful ability to include graduations of tints within the pastel colour scheme to create light and shade. Her use of whitewashed elements adds to the soft, airy style of her pages.
Thanks to Julie Winks who allowed us to share this great example of a layout using shades. The pure hues of the background papers are mixed with various quantities of black to create shades and an impresison of a vignette around the edge.