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3 Tutorials that teach The Color Wheel
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The Color Wheel

The Color Wheel

Author: Maria Tucker

In this lesson, you will study the construction of the traditional color wheel and recognize different color relationships based on it.

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Terms to Know
Color Wheel

A circular arrangement of hues in the order that they appear in the light color spectrum. The color wheel most commonly referenced has 12 segments and uses the subtractive color model.

Johannes Itten

1920s Swiss painter and teacher who developed color theory as we know it today and wrote "The Art of Color". Itten's twelve-step "color sphere" is still in widespread use as a model for students of color theory.

Primary Colors

The triad of red, blue and yellow on the subtractive color wheel or red, green and blue (RGB) on the additive color wheel.

Secondary Colors

Hues which are the result of mixing two primary colors in equal amounts.

Tertiary Colors

Hues which are the result of mixing two secondary colors in equal amounts.


The name for three hues positioned on the color wheel in the shape of an equilateral triangle.