Tints, Shades and Tones
General information about color variations
Tints, shades and tones are color variations created by adding white, black, or gray to a hue (or pure color) to alter its lightness.
Tint is the mixture of a color with white, which increases its lightness. Thus, a tint is lighter than the original color. When used as a dimension of a color space, tint is the amount of white added to an original color. In such a color space a pure color would be non-tinted.
Shade is the mixture of a color with black, which reduces its lightness. Thus, a shade is darker than the original color. When used as a dimension of a color space, shade can be the amount of black added to an original color. In such a color space a pure color would be non-shaded.
A tone is produced either by the mixture of a color with gray, or by both tinting and shading. Thus, a tone is softer than the original color.
Saturation can also be called a color's intensity. It's the colorfulness of a color relative to its own brightness. A highly colorful stimulus is vivid and intense, while a less colorful stimulus appears more muted, closer to gray. With no colorfulness at all, a color is a neutral gray.
Now that we have seen how to use color properties to create tints, shades and tones from a pure color, the next step is to see how to choose colors who fits well together. In color theory, this concept is called Color Harmony