Introductions to the Colour Wheel

When I was teaching art classes, I would often hear first-time painters ask, "do I need to use the same paint colour as you?" or "what colour should I use?"

The purpose of my classes and videos has always been to learn about art not only to do a particular painting or drawing. I want you to explore what works best for you. This includes your colour palette (the choices of colour you make). If I'm making my background blue, it doesn't mean you must as well. Feel free to make it purple, red, green, beige, or rainbow. There is no right way to create therefore there isn't a wrong way.

Secondly, as I said above, you are free to use whichever colour calls to you. This being said, trying to figure that out when you're new to the art world can be intimidating.

You may recognize this image below from school:

This is a colour wheel. There are many different types out there, but this is my personal favourite for beginners for a number of reasons.

Let's start with the Primary Colours. The Primary Colours are Yellow, Blue, and Red. They are called the Primary Colours because there are no colours out there that you can mix that will make these colours.

Secondary Colours are the result of blending two Primary Colours together. Yellow+Red=Orange



*When blending your colours on a palette, make sure you start with the brighter colour before adding the darker one. You can even out a colour much easier this way than by trying to brighten a darker colour.

On this colour wheel you will also see the Tertiary Colours. Tertiary Colours are blended from Primary and Secondary Colours. (Ex. Yellow+Orange=Yellow Orange)

Seeing the colours in a wheel helps to train your brain to see slight variations in colour. I always find that blending purple can be the most tricky. It's important to remember that purple can be quite dark without adding a highlight (white). A quick test to determine if you've made the right colour is to dab your darker colour to the side of your palette and then blend in a bit of white.

Another excellent reason for familiarizing oneself with the colour wheel if to find the Complementary Colour. The Complementary Colours are the colours that are most pleasing to the eye when side by side in your painting or drawing. You will find Complementary Colours opposite one another on the colour wheel. We will go a little further in to the colour wheel another time. If you do have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'd love to hear from you!

Paint on, my friends.

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