Corso di Armocromia: il Croma

All you need to know about Croma in armocromia

Where were we?

We understand that each person reacts to color differently from the others.

We discovered that if we put ourselves in the morning with natural light with our hair tied together and put together the different colors directed to our face, we see it with our eyes that not all colors give us and that if we have imperfections like pimples or discolorations, there are some colors that soften them and others that highlight them.

We have learned that this concept is part of a discipline called armocromia and that the painter Itten discovered the principles related to color and associated them with the seasons.
Itten has found that according to the natural color of the people, the face was emphasized, or on the contrary was penalized, combining the various colors belonging to a certain chromatic category of the four seasons. Thus he developed a theory according to which each of us falls into one of these four color seasons:

Winter, Summer, Spring, Autumn.

How to understand what the Croma in Armocromia refers to.

Based on this theory, each of us has natural colors that, depending on the temperature (hot or cold ) and value (how clear or dark a person is overall), reflect those found in nature in a given season.

The four-season system

The four-season system worked well for many types but not for all. It did not include several sub-categories and this further step will be done thanks to the contribution of another famous American painter Albert Henry Munsell (1858 –1918) famous above all for having created the homonymous color system.
After having studied the color theory and the four seasons, it was clear what was missing: the Itten system used only two of the three characteristics that a color possesses, since it used only temperature (hot / cold) and value (light / dark) .
Here we note that the fathers of armochromy are all painters: only those who experience color every day as an art form (and makeup is an art form!) can understand its extraordinary complexity. br />
Munsell introduced a fundamental color principle: the chroma . The difference between the pale blue of an autumn sky and the bright blue and bright of the same sky on a clear spring afternoon. We always speak of blue, but the chroma is very low in the first case, in the second highest.

Saturated colors and desaturated colors: the value of the Croma in Armocromia.

What is the Chroma

In armocromia the chroma establishes how much color (and by color we mean pure color percentage) a person needs to be valued.

Have you ever noticed how some people wear orange lipstick like cocoa butter and others can barely carry a colored gloss? We always think of the example of blonde girls with blue eyes and fair skin: it happens that some are enhanced by a coral lipstick while others by the mauve pink one and it has nothing to do with the tan or the skin tone.

The degrees of intensity of the color: why there are those who hold bright colors and who doesn't?

There are various degrees of color intensity, not all of us are in the same way. A color that is too intense on a person who does not have a medium-high chroma will put his face in the background, you will notice first the dress and then the person.
If instead the color has the right intensity, it will result in the face brighter and the complexion will appear uniform, without the need for a lot of makeup, the pimples will look less, the dark circles will be more attenuated and everything will seem more harmonious.

The seasons of four become 12 due to the introduction of the Croma

In summary, Itten took into account only value and temperature (caldofreddo).

Munsell introduces the eighth note and the four seasons become 12 !


The "classic" seasons are always the four main ones: Summer, Winter, Spring, Autumn.
Let's look at them in more detail:

Characteristics of the 4 seasons

  • Winter : cold temperature, high chroma, cold colors, pure and deep. It is enhanced by the three primary colors, plus white, black, silver, grays etc ... the white / black net contrasting patterns also look great. The classic Chanel look and Dolce and Gabbana, to understand each other!
    • Summer : cold temperature, medium-low chroma, cold and soft colors, not bright or pure like the winter ones. Summer is enhanced also with beautiful bright colors like Tiffany, powerful fuchsia, watermelon red, navy blue, almost electric blue, a lot of blue, gray with Armani, its famous greige is a color of this season etc.
      • Spring : warm colors, medium-high chroma. It naturally calls warm and luminous colors (salmon, narcissus yellow, turquoise, apple green, periwinkle light purple, aquamarine, fished rose, beige, coral. Gianbattista Valli, Etro, Custo use several colors of this season in their shows.
          • Autumn : warm colors, medium-low chroma. It is enhanced by warm and rich colors, not extremely bright (with the exception of very hot ones like tomato red), gold, some green, military green, bottle green, forest green, moss green, burgundy, almost all warm browns, bronze, copper, ocher, orange. Roberto Cavalli, for example, loves this season a lot in his shows, just think of the animal print (a print that only autumn wears with absolute naturalness)

        Sub-categories of the 4 seasons, that is, how they become 12

        Each season has three sub-categories that reflect the three main characteristics of color applied to a person's general color:

        1) Absolute Winter
        2) Deep Winter
        3) Bright Winter


        4) Absolute Spring
        5) Spring Clear
        6) Bright Spring


        7) Absolute Summer
        8) Summer Clear
        9) Summer Soft


        10) Absolute Autumn
        11) Soft Autumn
        12) Deep Autumn

        The Absolute Seasons

        The Absolute Seasons contain in them the extrinsic characteristics of the season they belong to, and for absolute terms we mean the seasons representing the categories with the totally warm temperature (Absolute Autumn, Absolute Spring) and totally cold (Absolute Summer and Absolute Winter). < br /> So they will be cold or hot, their temperature will always be "clear", never fluctuating, never neutral.


        They are four:


        ABSOLUTE WINTER : cold temperature, high chroma, cold colors, pure and deep.
        ABSOLUTE SUMMER : cold temperature, medium chroma- low, cold and soft colors.
        ABSOLUTE SPRING : warm colors, medium-high chroma, bright and warm colors, bright.
        ABSOLUTE FALL : warm colors, medium-low chroma , warm and rich colors, intense.

        The Non-Absolute Seasons

        The non-absolute seasons are 8 and are more neutral seasons than the absolute 4.
        Neutral in Armocromia refers to a color whose temperature is balanced and does not immediately catch the eye as hot or cold.

        The absolute seasons are clearly cold or clearly warm. The other sub-seasons are neutral, and are described as such.

        The variants of the same color in Armocromia.

        What does neutral mean in this case?

        It means that if, for example, you are Autumn but you do not belong to an absolute season (which in the case of Autumn is Absolute Autumn) but you are a Deep Autumn you will be enhanced by more neutral colors than those of Absolute Autumn .


        One of the colors that enhances the Absolute Autumn is the red tomato: a very warm red. Red instead of Deep Autumn will not only tend to be (obviously) deeper but will also be more neutral and less warm.


        The same goes for the blue of winter. Absolute winter blue will be much colder than blues that enhance deep winter.


        Another example? The pink of the Absolute Summer is colder cold than a soft summer rose! The soft summer pink will be more balanced than the absolute summer rose.


        Finally, the yellow of the absolute Primavera will be decidedly more loaded and warmer than the perfect chick thriller for Primavera Chiara!

        Article by Giusy de Gori, specialist in armochromatic analysis.

        References: Lipstick and Lace

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