I am currently reading ” Principles of Color Design” by Wong. The chapter on color principles echoes theories of Goethe and Munsell. Wong takes a more traditional approach and explains color as tangible medium in powder, paste and liquid that can be physically manipulated or intermixed.
For example in black and white when used together they create the greatest tonal contrast. In most cases black makes the mark and the white is the surface accounting black shapes as positive, white shapes as negative spaces. However, if we reverse the two colors it suggests something unreal creating a dense and heavy design.
Using uniform texture with black on white or white on black result a flat tone that is either light or dark depending on the proportion of black to white areas in the combination. In some instances black and white elements are optically mixed and perceived as gray.
A black and white pattern consisting of lines and points can show a gradual change in density, subtly lightening or darkening the pattern from one part to another. Much finer illusionary effects are obtained with varying densities creating complicated areas of tonal transitions.