Painting 101 | Colour wheel

colour wheel

Understanding the basic principles of the colour wheel can help you transform your next art piece into a masterpiece. A colour wheel, or colour circle, features a range of colour hues to illustrate the relationships between primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Have a look at the chart here.

colour wheel

colour wheelSome interesting facts about the colour wheel

  • While artists use a RYB (red, yellow and blue) colour model, printers use magenta, yellow and cyan as subtractive primary colours.
  • There are 12 main divisions: 3 primary, 3 secondary and 6 tertiary colours.
  • Tertiary colours are made by mixing one secondary and one primary colour.
  • Complimentary colours are located opposite each other on the wheel to create contrast.
  • Warm colours will appear closer and colder colours further on a canvas.


Importance of understanding colour

As any painter will know, selecting the right colour is almost as important as the design itself. Using complimentary colours next to each other can make the design more vivid but stand the risk of looking too brash. However, if you do want to give a certain spot extra emphasis, consider starting off with a primary colour as base. For example a red base will make colours like green and blues more vibrant on oil paintings.

colour wheelChances are slim that you will only use primary and secondary colour when painting a landscape setting. Why? Because you will need to factor in atmosphere, distance and lighting to really create a life-like scene. That is where tertiary colours come into play to tone it down.

And lastly, if you are looking for colours that work well together, you can find them next to each other on the wheel. Harmonious /Analogous Colours complement each other because they represent chronological steps of colour.

colour wheelHint: Pair Harmonious Colours with a complimentary colour to give your work a little extra vibrancy.

Be sure to keep these hints and colour guidelines in mind before you put brush to canvas. #colouryourworld with PNA. Click here to find the nearest PNA store to you: https://pna.co.za/store-locator


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