Portfolio of older work

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Color Wheels

For my Color and Light class I had to make three color wheels.  While time consuming it was very exciting.  I know!  I have made tons of color wheels before (boring!!) but the concept of this one was different.  All of the wheels are made with just 3 primary colors.  When I mixed the secondary colors, they needed to mix to gray with the primaries. Not too difficult because the primaries are set.  Then we had to mix the tertiary colors so that the complements would mix to gray.  That was much harder because everything was in flux.  Was the one tertiary color wrong or was it the other or did I simply mix the two tertiaries in a poor balance to achieve a true gray.  So many things to balance!

This one is based on Cyan, Yellow and Magenta.  The outside colors are the pure colors and the inside rings are the pure primary, secondary, and tertiary colors desaturated using the complement.

 This wheel was to use two of the primaries from the first color wheel and then a variation of the third primary.  I chose to use the Cyan and Magenta but substituted Lemon Yellow for the Yellow. The biggest difference should be noticeable in the yellow and the complement that had to match it.

This wheel is based on variations of all three original primaries, Cyan, Yellow and Magenta.  I used Lemon Yellow, Vermillion, and Cerulean Blue. The vermillion is really orange which not only gave yucky reds but also made my purples really muddy.  To make a good complement for the vermillion, the greens are also bluer than expected.

 Many artists choose to create their art work using just three primaries so that all the colors are harmonious.  This exercise certainly showed why that makes good sense.


  1. I think I got lost in the second ring (smile). Just knowing that you knew what you were talking about impressed the heck out of me!!

  2. I've done lots of color wheel dyeing but never so scientific or careful as this. I love the third one the best, but great job on all of them.


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