Color wheel how to use

Color wheel – this rainbow circle is fraught with endless creative solutions. And while some may think that it is aimed at professional artists only, but everyone can benefit from this versatile tool.

The fear of a blank page can occur even if the page is not entirely blank. Most people can get pretty overwhelmed when it comes to choosing colors for a coloring page.

 Some may think that composing a color palette is a natural talent or something you can learn in an art school only. While others address numerous apps and social media searching for instant color palettes. However, all those methods are pretty restricted. So let`s be fair, take the thrill of original creativity from the coloring process.

In this article, we decided to explain the color wheel and how to use it to create unique and balanced color palettes. So they are perfect for coloring books and pages and any other crafty DIY project.

The theory and practice of color wheel

The color wheel is an ultimately unique invention. It manages to combine logic and psychology, science and creativity, philosophy, and pure pragmatism.

While colors and color perception influences every aspect of our lives, the color wheel is a tool that managed to sustain this power and manage it.

You may find different variations of the color wheel. Sometimes they are shaped like a circle, sometimes as a hexagon or any other figure, but the idea remains the same: Color wheel consists of three color groups:

  • Primary – red, blue, and yellow (original colors that we cannot achieve through mixing between any other colors);

  • Secondary – Purple, orange, green (colors achieved through mixing between equal parts of primary colors);

  • Tertiary – yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green (colors that appear at mixing between primary and secondary colors)

Divide a color wheel into two equal parts

Dividing a color wheel into two equal parts, you see warm (yellow, orange, red) and cool (green, blue, purple) colors.

Using a Color Wheel, you can distinguish between various Color Harmonies that help you create your balanced color palettes for coloring books and pages. Let`s go through the fundamental ones:

  • Analogous – Those are colors that stand side-by-side on a color wheel;
  • Complementary – two colors opposite to each other. You can also use them to neutralize each other. For example, you can use purple to dim yellow or vice versa;
  • Triad – Those are three colors on a color wheel that have even space between each other. The more vivid and detailed your color wheel is, the more sophisticated your Triad color palette will be;
  • Monochromatic – going through primary, secondary, and tertiary shades of one color only;
  • Tetrad – two pairs of complementary colors;
  • Split Complementary – this palette appears when you take one color and include two colors that stand side-by-side with its complementary color;
  • Square – four colors evenly placed from each other on the color wheel.

Now you have limitless opportunities for experimentation and building your unique color palettes. Using those fundamental principles, anyone can create perfectly balanced color palettes.

If you still feel confused, take your colored pencils or paints out of the box and spread them on a blank sheet of paper according to a color wheel. That way, you will instantly see which colors out of your arsenal create perfect color palettes.









Split Complementary


Creating your color palettes

Here are some bonus tips for creating your unique color palettes:

  • Start with what you like – you can take a picture yourself or find one on the internet. Now distinguish a color you like on that picture, apply it to a color wheel and build your color palette based on your favorite tone;
  • Look around – the world around us is full of perfectly balanced color palettes. Some make you feel happy; others soothe and relax. Learn to look around and analyze what you think looking at various colors. Eventually, you will learn to instantly distinguish a perfect palette for the image in your coloring book;
  • Stick to a limited palette – when it comes to colors, less is indeed more. Choosing one color palette, you can move it around the color wheel for better combinations, but it is crucial to stick to one scheme in one image.

Now you see that the color wheel and color harmonies are not rocket science. Knowing some fundamental rules, anyone can learn to build perfectly balanced color palettes for coloring books or pages. And while sticking to one color scheme may seem pretty restrictive initially, each one contains numerous colors that will reveal your vision thoroughly while supporting each other and building a perfectly harmonized image.

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1 thought on “Color wheel how to use”

  1. Learn the fundamentals of color mixing by painting a color wheel with acrylic paints, then explore abstract landscape techniques. In your final project, you will create a triptych that combines the skills you have examined. Kit includes canvases, paint, paint brushes, additional materials, instructions, and video links. Age 12+

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