Primary colors - red, yellow, blue; Secondary colors -
orange (red & yellow), violet (red & blue), green (blue &
If you mix every color on your color wheel together, you get a rich
brown color. This becomes your base color. If you add red to your base
color (brown), you create a sienna color. By adding red or orange to
your base color, you create the fall colors. Add yellow to your base
color & you create an ochre color.
Remember we are not changing the value of color. Value is what you
do to change the intensity of your color, or the lightness and darkness
of a color.
Add green to your base color, which makes a nice olive color. Add
blue to your base color and you create a stronger intense brown. Add
purple to your base color and you create a nice burgundy color. This is
very important in creating shadow areas.
You use the color wheel to create the mood of your painting. If you
want to have a warm mood to your painting, add the warm colors red,
orange, and yellow. For a cooler mood, add the cool colors purple,
blue, and green. The more blue you add, the cooler it becomes; and the
more green you add, the more spring-like it becomes.
Color Ranges: If you mix blue & green = blue-green, mix green
& yellow = yellow-green or thalo yellow green, yellow & orange =
yellow-orange, orange & red = red-orange, red & violet =
red-violet. By mixing these colors, you create your different shades of
You always go to the opposite color on your color wheel to find its
compliment. For example: green's compliment is red, blue-green's
compliment is red-orange,yellow-green's compliment is red-violet. This
is how you compose a painting correctly by using the compliments of
This basic color wheel is used for landscape and wildlife artists.
Remember color composition is the key to a good painting.