The degree of brightness or dullness existing in a colour is called intensity i.e. its strength or its weakness. Intensity is the quality of colour that makes it possible for a certain hue –to whisper, to shout, or to speak in a gentlemanly tone. In other words it is the property describing the distance of colour from grey or neutrality.
The colours in the outer circle of the intensity chart are found to be of full intensity because they are as bright as each colour can be. As colours go down in their brightness toward neutral grey or no-colour, to the centre of the circle, they are found to become duller and are said to be of low intensity, chroma or neutralized.
A colour may neutralize or destroyed or changed in its intensity, by mixing it with its complement or grey.
A complement may be used to neutralize a colour because of the fact that a complement of a colour has the other two primary hues, which is not present in the colour, therefore resulting in neutralization. Example, when red is mixed with its complement green (Y+B), the presence of all the 3 primary colours results in neutralization. Neutral grey itself has a neutralizing effect and may be used instead of a complement to dull a colour.
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When a colour in its full intensity has had enough it its complement or grey, mixed with it, to make half as bright as it can be, it is halfway between full intensity and neutrality. This can denoted as to be one half neutralized (1/2 N) or one half-intense (1/2 I). Like this, the steps towards neutralization can be denoted as I (denoting hue with full intensity),1/4 Nor ¾ I, ½ N or ½ I, ¾ N or ¼ I and lastly N or C (denoting the neutralization of a hue to grey or chroma).
Texture plays so important a part in colour use that is cannot be ignored. Surfaces having more or less roughness reflect light in tiny accents and throw little shadows that have the effect of dulling the intensity of a colour. The texture of a smooth surface seems to blend colours used together and give the appearance of vibrating colour on a shiny surface.
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