Mammoth Memory

Colour Wheel – A visual representation of the colour spectrum

An artist should know the colour wheel and how the colours of the wheel work together. The colour wheel is made up of primary, secondary and tertiary colours. The three primary colours can be used to make up any other colour on the wheel. 

The primary colours are red, yellow and blue. They are called primary colours because no two colours can be mixed to create them (they can only be created through natural pigments).  Every other colour on the colour wheel can be created using the three primary colours.

The secondary colours are orange, green and purple. Secondary colours are created by mixing equal parts of any two primary colours. Yellow and blue will make green, red and blue will make purple, and red and yellow will make orange.

Tertiary colours are created by mixing equal parts of a primary colour and a secondary colour. There are six tertiary colours: red-purple, red-orange, blue-green, yellow-green, blue-purple and yellow-orange. Notice that the correct way to refer to tertiary colours is by listing the primary colour first and the secondary colour second.


This can be explained when you use a colour wheel. It is useful for students who don't know this technique to create their own colour wheel.





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