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3 Tutorials that teach The Color Wheel
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The Color Wheel

The Color Wheel

Description:

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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Tutorial

Source: Image of Farbkreis Itten, Public Domain Image of Vector Color Wheel, Creative Commons http://salvare0zero0.deviantart.com/art/Salvare0Ze... Image of Photoshop Colorwheel, Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/anastasiy/4309671313/

Video Transcription

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Hi everyone. My name is Mario and I'd like to welcome you to today's lesson on the Color Wheel. In today's lesson, we're going to study the construction of the traditional color wheel and recognize different color relationships based on it. So throughout this lesson, feel free to pause, fast forward, and rewind and when you're ready to go, let's get started.

The color circle, commonly known as the color wheel, is 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. And so the color wheel is going to be a vehicle for visualizing color and color relationships and it's actually quite useful for mixing color, selecting color, matching color, and looking at color relationships. We'll jump more into color relationships in a minute here.

There are various versions of the color wheel and the differences are often associated with their use in particular professions. You might see different types of color wheels depending on the profession you are in. So if you're a painter, you might see something more similar to the 12 step color wheel that we'll be looking at the majority of the lesson. But you might see alterations and different versions. You might see something like this one on the bottom right that says MagicPicker if you were doing something like digital design, Photoshop or Painter.

Since we're talking about the color wheel, it's probably worth mentioning Johannes Itten, 1920s Swiss painter and teacher who developed color theory as we know it today and wrote The Art of Color. Itten's 13 step color sphere is still in widespread use as a model for students of color theory. Man of the hour, Johannes Itten. Now we might have briefly touched on this in past lessons-- the additive and subtractive color models and their respective versions of the color wheel-- and a good way to remember these models is that in the additive color wheel, the colors mix to create white. Whereas the subtractive, the colors mix to remove color in that sense to create black.

So speaking of mixing, let's jump into triad secondary and primary colors. And triad is the name for three hues positioned on the color wheel in the shape of an equilateral triangle. So if we look at our main color wheel on the left here, you can see we have our triad, our equilateral triangle, with our primaries which are red, blue, and yellow. In the additive, we have our red, green, blue. So same triad but different colors, RGB.

Our secondary colors are hues which are the result of mixing two primary colors in equal amount. So if we take our primaries and we mix them in equal amounts, like yellow and red, we get our orange. We mix equal amounts of red and blue then we get our violet, this nice purple color. And if we mix equal amounts of blue and yellow then we get our green. So secondary colors-- hues-- which are the result of mixing two primary colors.

Tertiary colors now our hues which are the result of mixing two secondary colors in equal amounts. Results of those hues might be something like this lime green or yellow orange or the magenta and so on and so forth. So it's going to be the result, again, of mixing two secondary colors.

Well everyone, that brings us to the end of this colorful lesson. We'll conclude with our key terms-- color wheel, triad, primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, and Johannes Itten. Hope you've enjoyed this lesson with me today. My name is Mario and I will see you next lesson.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • 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.

  • Tertiary Colors

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

  • Secondary Colors

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

  • 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.

  • Triad

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

  • 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.