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10 mins

Color Theory 101
Colors can create emotion, set a mood, or make a statement. Ideas over how to use color is called color theory.

Posted by Tonya from Dallas, Texas, United States • Published See Tonya 's 7 projects »

You Will Need

  • How to create art / a model. Color Theory 101  - Step 1
    Step 1

    The earliest and most basic form of color theory is the color wheel created by Isaac Newton. It is a wheel of colors designed to help you in a way that any colors you pick will go together. The most common color wheel is made up of twelve colors.

  • Step 2

    It begins with your three primary colors- red, yellow, and blue. Some say these three colors along with black and white are all you need for an entire palette.

  • How to create art / a model. Color Theory 101  - Step 3
    Step 3

    Each primary color has a warm shade and a cool shade. Warm colors represent things like fire. Cool colors represent things like water. How can you make a warm color like red, a cool color? It's not scientific but the color wheel is split into two sides, warm and cool. Look to where the color falls on the color wheel, is it leaning towards the cooler side or warmer side? A lot of it comes down to sight and perspective.

    The only true way to tell if the color you are choosing is warm or cool is to play with it and test it for yourself.

  • How to create art / a model. Color Theory 101  - Step 4
    Step 4

    By combining two of the primary colors you can create the three secondary colors.

    Red & blue = purple.
    Red & yellow = orange.
    Blue & yellow = green.

  • How to create art / a model. Color Theory 101  - Step 5
    Step 5

    When you mix a primary color with its closest secondary color you will create a tertiary color. There are six tertiary colors in total.

    Yellow & orange = yellow orange
    Red & orange = red orange
    Red & violet = red violet
    Blue & violet = blue violet
    Blue & green = blue green
    Yellow & green= yellow green

  • Step 6

    These twelve colors are what make up the color wheel. From here you can mix various color schemes which we'll look at net week.

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