The Basics of Color – The Color Wheel

In color theory, the very basic of basics is the color wheel and how the primary colors become secondary colors and how secondary colors become tertiary colors. This basic knowledge will allow you to better compose your images and make your images pop.

The basic color wheel of primary colors consist of red, blue and yellow.
primary color
These three colors are the basic colors that, when combined in certain ways, can become any color in the spectrum and beyond. To first begin to understand color combinations, we can make basic combinations such as mixing blue and yellow which makes green, mix yellow and red, which makes orange, and when you mix red and blue, it becomes purple. These mixed colors sit on the wheel between the 2 colors that made them like this:
secondary wheel
To further expand the array of colors on the color wheel, we move to the tertiary colors. To create these colors, you can mix two colors that are side-by-side to create a new color that will be placed between the two chosen colors on the color wheel. To explain, if you mixed yellow and orange, you get a lighter shade of orange and it would be considered a tertiary color that rests on the color wheel between yellow and orange, like this:
tertiary
With these twelve basic colors, you can create endless combinations of different hues, tints, tones, and shades.

In the next part of our series on color theory, we will explore complimentary colors and how they interact with each other.

To read this series from the beginning, start with Color Theory – The Series.

#photography #colors #arts

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