The Color Wheel in All its Forms and Places

by Jollyon Hooley
(FLA West)

Basic Color Wheel

Basic Color Wheel

Our Old Friend Isaac Newton nearly blew a gasket when he discovered tha sunlight could be “bent” in varying degrees by a prism and so he produced a spectrum of colors from red to blue. Yeah, okay, you probably were told this in your first school grade!

Now, fly over the ocean a bit we can bump into Aristotle and he claimed that color comes from objects. Sure, objects are various colors. So what’s that got to do with us?

Okay, we do not need to know about “scattering, diffraction as well as refraction—plus absorption, do we? You know that wavelength composition of a light beam—will define its color.

So why do we need to know all this? Actually we don’t. What we want to know is “how to put color combinations together so they look harmonious!” That’s all.

So we will not go into the theory of colors, the mechanics, the opposites, the primaries and secondary’s and so on.

I have to add here that it is worth your while to really study the three primaries, the secondary’s and tertiaries.

Keep a color chart in your studio and become familiar with it.
Let’s start off with a color wheel—the primary colors can be situated on the outside of the color wheel and they are of course; yellow, blue and red. The secondary’s are admixtures of the primary’s.

Examples; yellow and blue mixed create a green—the green is the secondary. yellow and blue mixed create a green—the green is the secondary. Yellow mixed with red create an orange color, also a secondary. And blue mixed with red give us a violet secondary color.

To get your tertiary colors you mix your secondary colors. It is best to purchase the basic primaries in poster color and experiment with all three sets. Once you understand it, you keep it forever.

You will be able to look on your color wheels sat a soft green color and immediately find its opposite in the color wheel. It is good to know HOW to put opposites together whether they are primary, secondary or tertiary.

You have to know how to do this; later I will put up a color wheel chart on another page with a little info about putting colors together. Look, this is a BIG subject so do not “wing it” Get to know it well and you’ll have a lot of fun.

Jollyon Hooley
March 2016

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