Ye Olde Homemade Colour Wheel

 Since each monitor shows colors differently I labeled each section. I think this will do for this lesson if you have a good imagination! I suggest you buy a real one at your local art supply store or you can order one on the internet from The Color Wheel Company.

This lesson is about the color wheel. To learn how to use the wheel for Designing with Color go here!



A color wheel is the spectrum bent into a circle. It is a useful tool for organizing colors.The Color Wheel describes the relationships between colors. It is laid out so that any two PRIMARY COLORS (red, yellow, blue) are separated by the SECONDARY COLORS (orange, violet, and green).

There are three primary colors; red, blue, and yellow. Primary colors are hues which can be mixed to create all other colors.

Primary Colors are basic and cannot be mixed from other elements. They are to color what prime numbers are to mathematics. One can mix two primaries to get a Secondary Color. You will notice that each Secondary Color on the Color Wheel is bounded by two primaries. These are the components that one would mix to get that Secondary Color.

There are three secondary colors; green, orange, and violet. Secondary colors are the hues between the primary hues on the color wheel. the secondary hues are create by mixing two primary hues. To get orange, you mix equal parts of red and yellow. To get Violet, you mix equal parts of red and blue. To get green, you mix equal parts of blue and yellow.

Complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are colors that are across from each other on the color wheel. Violet and yellow are complimentary, Blue and orange are complimentary, and red and green are complimentary. Color Complements are color opposites. These colors contrast each other in the most extreme way possible. They also help to make each other more active.

Intermediate colors.There are six intermediate colors, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet , blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange. These colors are created by mixing a secondary color with a primary color.

Color has three properties:

1. Hue. Hue is the name of a color, such as red, blue, or yellow.
2. Value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a hue (color). The value of a hue can be changed by adding black or white.
3. Intensity. Intensity is the brightness or dullness of a hue (color). Pure hues are high-intensity colors. Dull hues are low-intensity colors.

Warm colors. Warm colors express warmth; they are red, yellow and orange.

Cool colors. Cool colors have the feel of being cold or cool; they are blue, violet and green.