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Color Wheel Part 4

Technical Color Schemes

In our last lesson we learned about how we see color, in today’s lesson we will learn about the color wheel and primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

This area of color is the nuts and bolts or the foundation to which all color schemes are based and created.

Primary colors, red, yellow and blue are the colors that all other colors are derived from. Secondary colors are what you get when you combine two primary colors, green, orange and violet (purple). Tertiary colors, blue – green, blue – purple, red – violet, red – orange, yellow – orange, yellow – green, are achieved by combining a primary and an adjoining secondary color.

Learn more about primary colors online here or by video here.

The color wheel is the combinations shown in a circle. From this wheel we can create what I call a technical color scheme. I call them technical because they are the mechanical base to work from. I will expand on how, soon. See the color wheel video and read more information on the color wheel .

Color Wheel

Color Wheel

Complementary Color Scheme

Complementary Color Scheme

Split Complementary

Split Complementary Color Scheme

You will have noticed I have not mentioned black, white or grey yet. That is because technically they are not colors. We learned in our last lesson that all color comes from white light. Black white and grey are called neutrals.

Back to the technical color schemes, as you saw in the pages you have visited there are numerous color schemes derived from the color wheel, but what isn’t explained often enough is exactly how to use this information.

If you look at how Munsell combined hue, value and chroma in the Munsell Color Notation System , he believed that his system was a good tool for creating color balance and harmony, and could be used to select more exact color combinations.

Munsell Color Tree

Munsell Color Tree

The color wheel basically shows you the technical combinations, from there when you choose what type of color scheme you want to use, you can make the hues lighter or darker and start experimenting with how they look.

If you have managed to understand how the Munsell Color Notation System, it is very difficult, you can play around with the chroma values, and think in three dimensions and experiment usng different color scheme combinations.

So now you have finished reading part four. Well done. If you still have time, go and read your related articles, if not come back again and read them in your spare time. In three days time you will receive your next lesson, so don’t forget to add this email address to your white list, file it in your designated folder for future reference and if you don’t receive your next lesson in three days time, then look in your spam email box, and if you just can’t wait for three days the you can find part five here online.

Bye for now


Lee Brown

Color Ecourse Coordinator