Color Theory

In school, I am learning about color theory. I am also learning about a color wheel. Primary colors are colors that can’t be formed by any other type of color. They are how all other colors are made. There are three (3) primary colors which are Red, Yellow, and Blue. By mixing primary colors you can get a Secondary color. By mixing Red and Yellow you get Orange. Orange is a secondary color. By mixing Yellow and Blue we can get Green. Green is also a secondary color. By mixing Red and Blue we can get Purple. Purple is also a secondary color. By arranging these in a particular order we get the rainbow colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. By mixing a primary and secondary color we get a Tertiary color. Color wheel is a way of organizing all these colors. On a color wheel, the opposite color is called a complimentary color. Here is a example of a color wheel that I made.

Color wheel

If you see, the primary colors are equally distanced. So are the secondary. I learnt many interesting things about the color wheel. The first color wheel was formed by Isaac Newton in 1666. A synonym (2 words that have the same meaning) of color is hue. A shade of a color is if you add some black to the color and the tint is when you add some white to the color. An analogous color set is that of 3 sticking hues. A harmonious color palette is a set of colors that looks pleasing to the eye. Complimentary colors (opposite colors on the color wheel) are harmonious colors (looks very pleasing to the eye). The nature colors, Red, and Green are also harmonious colors (because they look pleasing to the eye). Achromatic means there are 0 (zero/no) colors. Monochromatic means it has only 1 (one) color, so it might mean it is a plain sea, or it might mean there are shades and tints. Polychromatic means that the painting has more than 1 (one) color.

Now, let me show you an interesting experiment. Look at these. Are the small rectangles inside the big ones (the ones in light blue) – same color or different color?

Over here the blue rectangle in the pink background looks darker.

But this is actually the same!

Here is another experiment I tried. I took a Henry Matisse painting (see below). It only uses yellow, blue, green colors (with very little red). I colored the same painting in complimentary colors (see below). How does that change the mood of the painting for the viewer? I think in complimentary colors, it looks sadder and darker. What do you think?

Hope you enjoyed learning about Colors with me.

Henry Matisse original painting

My complimentary painting

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