C is for Colour Wheel

I originally made the topic for “C” be Colour Theory, but I realized that was much to huge of a topic for just one post, so I changed it to one very important aspect of colour theory: The Colour Wheel.

The colour wheel was originally developed by Sir Isaac Newton and can be a helpful tool in finding colour pairings that are harmonious. The colour wheel is just one step in the process though. In finding “colour harmonies” one must also consider personal and cultural preferences.

But back to the wheel.

The colour wheel starts with the three primary colours (red, blue, and yellow) spaced equally apart. Added between these colours are the secondary colours (orange, violet, and green). Then in-between each of the six colours, the tertiary colours (red-violet, red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-violet) are added. This creates a 12 step colour wheel. More colour variations can be added to have an even more in depth colour wheel.

Colour Wheel

There are six basic colour relationship concepts that can be discerned from the colour wheel: Complementary, split complementary, double complementary, analogous, triadic, and monochromatic. An amazingly helpful website to help you discover great colour combinations is Adobe Colour CC. A great aspect of this tool is that if you have an Adobe account, you can sync any colour combinations you create with all of the Adobe Suite. So if you make an amazing colour harmony, you can easily use it in Adobe Illustrator!

Speaking of colour, do you have a favourite one? And why?

(Mines red! I love its intensity and its symbolism.)

About the author

Leetah Begallie

Leetah is a writer and graphic designer who lives on Vancouver Island in Beautiful British Columbia. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband (Matt), her dog (Isla), and her three pet rats (Avi, Lily, and River).

She writes mostly fantasy but enjoys tying in other genres to her stories.


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