Artist Color Wheel – What You Need To Know?

You wouldn’t have thought it would you, from just three colors, the birth of a spectrum of more than “All the colors in the rainbow”.

I felt the same about how? just three colors! Really!

Yet nature has its ways, and once you understand… NO, accept that this is how color branches off into all the other colors. Making our world so beautiful, flooded with such color, the more enlightened we are.


You have three Primary colors. Yet, when you think about it, there are no other colors that you to use in order to create the Primary Colors in the artist color wheel. I know off-by-heart, which colors to mix with what in order to make another different color. But like I say: when faced with your three Primary Colors. I would not have a clue how to mix them from other colors; because there are no other color that can mix them from…


Right!  see above in the diagram I did. The secondary colors are made up of those samples of colors I have put adjoining each color next to them in the artist color wheel. So

  • Yellow and Red:  make Orange

  • Yellow and Blue:  make Green

  • Blue and Red:      make Purple

So from these colors,  by mixing different amounts, you begin to get different hues of secondary colors, from darker to lighter.

So how do we come about getting browns and grays in the artist color wheel? Enter our Non-Colors

Artist Color Wheel   What You Need To Know?


Now why did I not put COLORS at the end of this heading? any answers…………… Because Black and White are not regarded as colors. I know… strange… But that’s the way it is. You cant make them from any other color either.

When Black or White is added to Primary and Secondary color, even more colors are starting to materialize. No only that, each color that has Black or White added to it will give more darker and lighter shades of that particular color you are adding to.

Too much black, and the color can change to another color.

BLACK added to WHITE

And  you get? Grey. Another color!  You add Blue to Grey: and you get a steely Grey/Blue and so on.

I think you get the idea now. Oh.….. one thing – for the initiated. If you are wondering how Gold and Silver get their sparkle in paints. You know that you can create gold with yellows; and silvers with White and Grey. And you only get the color. When the paint

seems to have a sheen to it, is because there are very tiny  metal pieces in the paint that causes the reflectiveness. I added this because I have known more than a few who have asked this question, so I wanted to clear it up.

I will tell you one thing though…….. as I have done this myself on occasions through my life….If you play around with color too much, you will end up with the color Grey.

Now when I thought of doing this page, I thought where do I start with explaining the Color Wheel. I thought I would be at a loss, but here we are. I didn’t want to give you a detailed description with lots of diagrams. As I am sure you have imaginations to imagine what I was explaining.

And I didn’t want to bore you to tears with all that tecki-jargon. I wanted to tell you about the Art Color Wheel in my own way, and how I interpret it through my learning’s throughout my time as an artist.