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Go wash

your hands!
(Seriously.)
Please do not
play with any
supplies until
you’re given
instructions.

• Have you ever wondered why there
is such a thing as “rainbow order”?

• In science, it has to do with the wavelengths of
light…what your eyes see as color is just one
small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

• In art, the ROYGBIV order of the spectrum
of visible light (color) is still important
because it helps us to understand how to
mix colors and plan a color scheme…

• …this is the purpose of a color wheel.

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WHY THE COLOR
WHEEL IS IMPORTANT:

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WHY THE COLOR
WHEEL IS IMPORTANT:

WHY THE COLOR
WHEEL IS IMPORTANT:

WHY THE COLOR
WHEEL IS IMPORTANT:

Color Wheel Goals
• Be able to read, label, and create
your own color wheel.
• Know the terms:
– Primary
– Secondary
– Tertiary
– Neutral

Primary Colors
• Three colors that can’t be mixed, but
which are used to mix all other colors
• Exist because of the way our eyes
see color (cones and rods)

1. Ice your primaries.

Secondary Colors
• Created by mixing primaries that are
adjacent (next to each other) on the
color wheel

2. Mix and ice secondaries.
KEEP PRIMARY ICING CUPS CLEAN!

Tertiary* Colors
• Created by mixing 1 primary + the
secondary color next to it
• *tertiary = third

3. Mix and ice your tertiaries.
KEEP PRIMARY ICING CUPS CLEAN!

Neutrals
• Neutral colors are created by mixing colors
that are directly across* on the color wheel
• Depending on what colors you use, you will
get a range of grays and browns

• *head’s up – these are called complements!
We’ll get to them!

4. Mix and ice at least two different neutrals.
KEEP PRIMARY ICING CUPS CLEAN!

Color Schemes – Applying What
We Know
• Goals:
– Know and
understand:

• Complement
ary
• Analogous
• Triadic
• Warm/Cool
• Monochrom
atic

• The color wheel
is a tool we can
use when
planning art – it’s
not just a design
• It teaches us:
1. How to mix
colors
2. How to choose
colors for a color
scheme

Complementary Colors
• Remember how to mix a neutral?
– Created by colors opposite or directly
across on the color wheel…which are
also called complements or
complementary colors

• Red + green
• Blue + orange
• Yellow + purple

• Why do neutrals look different
depending on which compliments
you use?

Hint: is it correct to say that a neutral is mixed with all three
primaries?

• Neutrals look different based on their
complement pair because of the
proportions

• Because complimentary colors are
each other’s polar opposites, when
placed side by side they make the
other color “pop,” or look especially
vivid

Visual Effects of Complements…
Afterimages

Online complements test (colors are different because of
the way colors are made with pixels).

Visual Effects of Complements…
Afterimages

Visual Effects of Complements
• Often the shadow/highlights of an
object will appear to have its
complement

Creating Shadows
Using a color’s complement to
create / enhance a shadow will
often be more effective than
black!

Rouen Cathedral, Claude
Monet.

Apple Study, Miss Reardon.

Analogous Color Schemes
• An analogous
color scheme
contains 2-4
colors that are
directly next to
each other on the
color wheel
– Analogous comes
from analogy – a
comparison
between two

Warm and Cool Colors
• Colors whose visual temperature
gives you the impression of warm vs.
cold depending on our associations
with it

• WARM

• COOL

Application!

Triadic Color Schemes
• Triadic color schemes use colors
that are evenly space apart
– (On our twelve-color wheels, this means
there are 3 spaces in between them)

Monochromatic
• One color (plus black or white to
create tints and shades)

Colorblindness
• Some types of colorblindness make
colors shift toward their
complements