THE COLOR WHEEL

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YES, you painted one of these in Kindergarden. I know. However the usefulness and knowledge that can come from this tool is limitless. So please let go your preconceptions toward color, and using a color wheel and come into this with an open mind.

The color wheel is one of the most powerful tools artists and designers have to help us understand and use color effectively.  It is strongly recommended that as you examine the different color schemes thought this post and the following, you look at a color wheel and plot them out.

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FUN FACT! The first circular color wheel was created by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666. As if the laws of planetary motion and gravity weren’t enough!

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Foto: picture-alliance

 

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We begin with a three-part color wheel that shows only pure colors, meaning colors which no amount of mixing will result in. These three colors are of course our primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. All other colors are derived from these three hues.

 

 

 

 

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Next we move on to our secondary colors. These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors with each other: green, orange, and purple.

 

 

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You can further break down the color wheel into tertiary colors. These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and secondary color: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green.

 

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And of course we divide that wheel based on Color Temperature, with warm color opposite cold.

 

To create a successful illustration, your color palette or scheme needs to support your big idea. It must work to further your narrative and or concept.  If you have already taken Color and Design, you will have worked with various color schemes.   In the next few posts, and in the remaining weeks of class, you’ll look review color theory in detail, and see how those color schemes can influence narrative. We will also look at how they are applied in both fine art and in contemporary illustration
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Drawing by Philippe Buchet, Color by Matt Hollingsworth

 

NOW lets get deeper into some real COLOR THEORY!

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