Color theory – colors of the rainbow?

Most of us have tried drawing a rainbow. But maybe it’s hard to remember what order the different colors come in. And is it really important at all?

In fact, the colors of the rainbow are not only absolutely essential to know when it comes to both color theory and color theory (think for example of complementary color and simultaneous contrast), but they are also deeply logical in their distribution and order.

There is actually a pretty simple logic behind the colors of the rainbow? Rainbows come from the light of the sun. And the drops in the air bend the white light of the sun a little, so that the light waves lower in speed – and become visible to our eyes. And light waves – and wavelength is the key word here. Because it’s all about energy and wavelength!

The seven colors of the rainbow

There are seven colors in the rainbow:

  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • indigo 
  • violet

And they always come in the same order. They do this because red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest wavelenght.

Here is a prism that bends the light so we can see the different colors that are in white light. It’s elementary color theory – and fun to experiment with.

Color is light

How can colors be a quality of light? And what are light waves? And what do they have to do with a rainbow? In the 19th century, Sir Isaac Newton proved that colors are a quality of light. So to better understand colors, we need to look at light.

On Earth, our primary light source is the sun. And sunlight (and all other light) has properties in common with both waves and particles. Because light waves carry energy in them. In fact, light is a kind of electromagnetic radiation. And in the electromagnetic spectrum, we can only see visible light as colors

The wavelength of electromagnetic radiation is related to how much energy it has. Wavelength is the distance between two waves that follow one another. It is usually expressed in nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.

Color theory – create your own rainbow

The colors that are in the sun’s light can be seen by using a prism to refract the light and lower the speed of the light waves a bit so we can see them. That way we can see all the colors of the rainbow.

Related: om farveteori og Itten’s farvecirkel

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