Updated on November 5, 2015
How to Choose Colors – Part I
A lot of you have asked for advice about choosing colors for our adult coloring. Today, we introduce the Color Wheel. In future posts, we will cover a few of the ways to use the Color Wheel to bring harmony to our coloring.
This is probably because of my mindset when I was coloring: I was so stressed I used the “shut your eyes and grab a color” technique.
However, there are times I would like to be mindful of colors and choose combinations that are harmonious, and therefore more relaxing.
Merriam-Webster defines harmony as “a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts.” You can find or create harmony in coloring, music, poetry, or even a wedding cake. When something doesn’t have harmony, it’s either dull (on one end of the spectrum) or frenzied (on the other end of the spectrum). Our brains might not get any stimulation from dull color combinations and have a hard time focusing on frenzied, chaotic color combinations. That is why looking at my finished owl illustration isn’t so pleasant.
Enter the Color Wheel, a tool that helps you pick color combinations (“schemes”) that will look good together (“harmonize”).
The Color Wheel consists of 12 colors:
Primary Colors (3): Red, Yellow & Blue
These colors can’t be made by any combination of other colors. All other colors are based on Primary Colors.
Secondary Colors (3): Green, Orange, & Purple (aka Violet)
These colors are made by mixing two Primary Colors together. For example: Red + Yellow = Orange
Tertiary Colors (6): Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Red-Purple, Blue-Purple, Blue-Green, & Yellow-Green
These colors are made by combining a Primary Color and a Secondary Color. For example: Red + Orange = Red-Orange.
Artists and designers use the Color Wheel to select colors that will help them with many things, among them: communicating ideas, influencing minds, and even determining formulas (those codes on your paint chips mean something!). For example, if a designer is trying to create a sense of energy, they will use the Color Wheel to select colors from the Red, Yellow, and Orange hues.
In our next post, we will look at different ways to categorize the colors on the Color Wheel, as well as how to expand them..
On the fast track? Want some more inspiration right now? Try these: