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How to Use the Color Mixing Wheel ?(Beginner's Guide)

Feb 01, 2024

How to Use the Color Mixing Wheel (Beginner's Guide):

The color wheel, a tool commonly used by artists in the past for mixing colors, has its earliest origins traced back to 1704, believed to have been proposed by Sir Isaac Newton. The modern color wheel available in the market consists of three circular secondary disks printed cardboard pieces. Artists use it to mix a limited range of paint colors to create a broader spectrum of hues. Consequently, the color wheel has also become a popular teaching aid for instructors to help students learn about colors.

An Introduction to Colors

The color wheel encompasses a spectrum of hues, broadly divided into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
Primary Colors: Also termed as first-level hues, this group includes the fundamental trio: red, yellow, and blue. In the realm of painting, these are often represented by specific shades like vermilion for red, lemon yellow for yellow, and cerulean blue for blue. These colors hold a unique status as they are not derivable from mixing other hues, yet they serve as the cornerstone for creating a vast array of other shades.
Secondary Colors: Known as second-level hues, these are the offspring of mixing equal parts of two primary colors. For instance, blending red and blue begets purple, yellow and red forge orange, and yellow and blue yield green. Amongst the color spectrum, primary and secondary hues are noted for their unadulterated purity.
Tertiary Colors: Referred to as third-level hues, these colors emerge from the combination of secondary colors or by marrying a secondary hue with a primary one. Tertiary colors embody elements of all primary shades, albeit in varied proportions. This category includes hues like sienna, ochre, olive green, and an array of grays with subtle color leanings.

The Basic Functions of a Color Wheel

The color wheel has two sides, each with distinct functions.

Front: It's used for mixing colors. Outer colors blend with red, yellow, blue, white, and black from the inner circle, creating corresponding colors.

Below the inner circle, a 10-level grayscale chart shows shades from mixing black and white.

Back: This side focuses on adjusting color brightness. Adding white, gray, or black to outer colors changes their lightness and shade.

Additionally, it explains color theory basics: primary colors,intermediate colors,Complex colors.

Expanding the Color Wheel's Functionality

Adjusting Brightness: On the front, to lighten a color in the outer ring, add white or a clockwise neighboring color. To darken, add black or an anticlockwise neighboring color.

The back's central triangle explains analogous, contrasting, and complementary colors. Key concepts:

1.Adding a complementary color to a color will turn its hue to gray.

2.Using analogous colors in art creates harmony and richness.

Limitations and Uses of the Color Wheel:

While the color wheel can theoretically produce any color (except primaries), mixed pigments are less saturated than pure pigment colors. Thus, the importance of color-mixing skills is decreasing.

In practical applications, the color wheel is used in design and fashion. Using analogous colors in a 5:4:1 ratio for interior design is a fail-safe approach. Similarly, dressing in analogous colors meets basic everyday wardrobe coordination needs.

SINOART Color Wheel:

SINOART offers color wheels, regularly in stock, in both English and Spanish. They have a diameter of 13cm. Orders of just 400 units are eligible for shipping. Each comes in a transparent plastic bag with a hang hole, perfect for in-store displays. Interested in this product? Contact us for more details!

Printed Cardboard Artist Paint Color Mixing Guide Wheel