Using a primary color wheel can help you to better understand the basics of color and help you learn about harmonious colors. A color wheel will help you visualize the relationships between colors. Its a great tool to use when choosing color schemes for decorating, painting or for web design. Color wheels start out with the 3 primary colors set in an equilateral triangle within the circle. These primary colors are yellow, red and blue and are the base of all colors.
Secondary colors fall between these primary colors and are a mixture of two primary colors. So between yellow and red will be the secondary color of orange. Between red and blue will be purple and between blue and yellow will be green. Secondary colors are also known as complementary colors. Complimentary colors can be found by looking directly across the primary color wheel. Across from red is green and across from blue is orange. Placing these complimentary colors next to each other will give the appearance of brighter colors since they will have a high contrast.
Tertiary colors, also known as intermediate colors, are formed by mixing one primary color with a secondary color. This results in softer hues and shades. The prime color of yellow mixed with the secondary color of green will create a softer hue of yellow-green. Tertiary colors create more natural and neutral tones.
There are several terms to know when using a primary color wheel to select the colors for your project. Colors can be thought of as warm or cool. If you are designing a website and want it to feel sunny, bight and warm, try using warm colors such as red, orange and yellow. Colors that will give a cool feeling include blue, green and violet.
Choosing the correct colors to create the feeling of warmth or coolness is essential to good design. Another term to know is hue. Hue is the actual name of the color, such as blue or green. Intensity will tell you how bright the hue is. Low intensity colors will have dull hues. Value will be the lightness of the hue. Changing the value with black or white will create a lighter or darker hue. These are good terms to know especially when designing a webpage.
If you want a bright design try using a triad to choose your colors from your primary color wheel. This triangle placed over the color wheel will help you select three colors that are equally spaced apart on the wheel. The primary colors fit in this triad and are red, yellow and blue. Other color triads are green, violet and orange or red-violet, yellow-orange and blue-green. These color schemes can be bright and lively.
For a more subdued look, choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These are also known as analogous colors. Green, yellow-green and yellow are a sample of analogous colors. Using these harmonious colors along with a change in hues can create a much softer color scheme.
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