In the study of color, we see a great many color schemes. What is local color?    

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Local color differs greatly from optical or perceptual color; for it does not involve the perception of the eye. Local color is the actual hue of something apart from the influence of light and atmosphere. Local color, then, is the natural color of something; for instance, some mountains are of granite, and their natural hue--their local color--is  grey. However, at certain times of the morning or evening, the mountains may appear pinkish or purplish.

The paintings of Gustave Caillebotte, named the "Urban Realist," exhibit many figures painted in local color. For instance, his painting Pont de l'Europe [Bridge of Europe] possesses a clear-cut photographic quality. One figure, that of a gentleman depicts a man strolling with a pretty woman, who is dressed in black, while his great coat is an opaque and solid grey. There are no plays of light or shadow upon them as in another of his works, Sailing Boats at Argenteuill which has quick, bold brushstrokes of white atop other colors. In this painting, there is

a breezy sense of movement with his own liking for the 'close-up.'