2. The Color Wheel

You need to understand the way that colors associate. Once you have a grasp of their relationships you will start to see how certain colors work together better than others. It’s not as easy as just matching the same colors with each other. It can become tricky because you have combos that will look eye-pleasing and others that will cause your eyes to bleed.

This may seem boring, but it often the simple things that give you the most power. There are lots of people walking around that have this knowledge, but they don’t use it.

So, the basics of the color wheel:

The primary colors are yellow, blue, and red. Adding light or dark to these three colors will make all the other colors. When you combine two primary colors you get a secondary color.

Primary + Primary = Secondary

Red + Blue = Purple

Blue + Yellow = Green

Yellow + Red = Orange

You can also add dark or light to these as make different shades of these colors. You can get a Tertiary color when mixing a secondary color with a primary color that is adjacent to it.

This could be

Blue or Red + Purple = Red-Purple or Blue-Purple

Yellow or Blue + Green = Yellow-Green or Blue-Green

Yellow or Red + Orange = Yellow-Orange or Red-Orange

With this, you can adjust the amount of primary colors combined with dark or light levels and come up with any of the colors in the universe.

If a secondary and primary color are beside each other on the color wheel that means they are analogous. Analogous colors are those that work well with each other, but only if their levels of dark and light are matched as well.

Blue’s analogous to Purple and Green

Orange’s analogous to Yellow and Red.

Secondary and primary colors that are on opposite side are complementary. You can pair these colors to create a bolder statement. You have to be careful matching these though because there are some shades that don’t work together.

Orange and blue are complementary.

Yellow to Purple.

Green to Red.

This is only a small about of information, but try starting with this:

Print out your own copy of the color wheel.

Remember that the colors that are beside each other are analogous and work together, but make sure that their values are similar. Value means the degree of darkness or lightness expressed in each color.

How to Use the Color Wheel
Explore more ...