Color Wheel

Color WheelThe color wheel is one of the best ways to understand and organize color.

It is divided into three categories: Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, and Tertiary Colors.


Primary Colors
Secondary Colors
Tertiary Colors
Seconday Colors


Primary Colors

Primary Colors

The primary colors are the main foundation of the color and cannot be created by combining any other colors.

There are three primary colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue.

In order to create any other color, you must start by combining the primary colors.

Secondary Color

When you combine two primary colors, you will get a secondary color.

There are three secondary colors as well: Orange, Violet and Green.



Tertiary Colors

Combining an equal amount of a primary color with an adjacent secondary color on the color wheel creates a tertiary color.

There are six tertiary colors: Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green and Blue-Violet. All twelve colors make up the basic color wheel.


Obviously there are an innumerable number of colors, but all colors fall into one of the basic twelve categories of the color wheel.

Warm Colors

The color wheel provides us with a way to categorize and organize colors. But color can also be discussed in terms of Warm and Cool. This is a very effective way to understand and visualize types of color. The color wheel can be divided into two halves that represent warm and cool colors. Warm colors are based in red and include yellow, orange and neighboring colors. All hues that contain red can be considered warm. These colors are comforting and welcoming. They create excitement and generate a strong emotional response. They dominate the other colors and are at the forefront of the decorating scheme. Warm colors also have a softer side: these include demure pinks, creamy yellows and pale peaches.


Cool Colors

Cool colors are based in blue. They include green, violet and neighboring colors. Green can be a cool or warm color depending on how much yellow is used to add warmth or how much blue is used to cool it down. Cool colors recede. They can create the illusion of space and openness when used to decorate a room. These colors are soothing and calm and make us feel relaxed and renewed. This is why spas so often choose these tones – they are the colors of the ocean and sky!


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