Colour Wheels

by Feb 15, 2021Art Supplies

Why use a colour wheel?

This week Jane takes a quick look at colour wheels.

Depending on the types of art you create and your ‘eye for colour’ you will either swear by your colour wheel or quite possibly never have used one.

For some people, artists and non-artists alike, a colour wheel (or a similar online resource) is the best (or possibly for our colour blind friends, the only) way to find colour combinations which work nicely together.

Pocket colour wheel

At Gadsby’s we sell a pocket colour wheel made by the Colour Wheel Company. Current price is £7.95.

This is a great resource for the newcomer to using colour wheels because it has some explanations and guidance tips printed onto the wheel. It is just over 5″ (13cm) in diameter.

Colour wheel
colour wheel mixing guide

What is a colour wheel?

The colour wheel is a circular arrangement of colours organised by their chromatic relationship to one another. It’s used in art and design to choose colours and colour schemes based on their relationship to one another.

There are many different designs of colour wheel but they all offer basically the same help.

They enable you to identify:

Complementary colours

when placed next to each other they create the strongest contrast

Analogous colours

these are groups of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, sharing a common color, with one being the dominant color, which tends to be a primary or secondary color, and a tertiary. For example if you picked yellow the analogous colours are yellow orange and yellow green.

Triadic colours

choose your colour from the colour wheel and drawing an equilateral triangle to find two other colours. Once you have your triangle you should see that there are 3 colours in between each colour to form the triangle.

Also on the colour wheel, each primary colour is always opposite the colour obtained by mixing the other two primary colours. You will find that red is always opposite green, yellow is opposite violet and blue is opposite to orange.

What are primary colours

Think of primary colours as the original parents of all the future generations of colours.

These colours are red, yellow and blue, these cannot be made with mixtures of other pigments.

Secondary colours

Secondary colours are produced by mixing two primary colours together in equal proportions. These colours are green (a mixture of yellow and blue),orange (a mixture of red and yellow), purple (a mixture of red and blue).

Tertiary colours

Another 6 tertiary colours are created by mixing the secondary colours.

 

Gadsbys are happy to help you when you are choosing the best materials, whether that be paint or brushes, for your work. Gadsby’s stock a great range of artists materials and have experts on hand (if needed) to help with your selection.

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