It’s easy to mix paints to make new colors. You can use the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) plus black and white to get all of the colors of the rainbow.
The Color Wheel
The Color Wheel shows the relationships between the colors.
The three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue; they are the only colors that cannot be made by mixing two other colors.
The three secondary colors are green, orange, and violet; they are each a mixture of two primary colors. Their hue is halfway between the two primary colors that were used to mix them. On the color wheel, the secondary colors are located between the colors they are made from.
The six tertiary colors (red-orange, red-violet, yellow-green, yellow-orange, blue-green and blue-violet) are made by mixing a primary color with an adjacent secondary color. On the color wheel, the tertiary colors are located between the primary and secondary colors they are made from.
Black, white and gray are not true colors (or hues). They are considered to be neutral, achromatic colors.
Value refers to how light or dark a color appears. To make a color lighter in value, white is added. A light color is called a tint of the original hue. For example, pink is a tint of red. To make a color darker in value, black is added. A dark color is called a shade of the original hue. Maroon is a shade of red.
Making Colors Lighter or Darker
To make a color lighter in value, add white. The more white you add, the lighter the color will get. This is called a tint of the original color.
To make a color darker (this is called a shade of the original color), add a small amount of black. If you add too much black, your color will be almost black. Another way to darken a color is to mix in some of the complementary color (the opposite color on a color wheel - see below). This produces a rich, dark color (richer than just adding black). Some pairs of complementary colors are: blue/orange, green/red, yellow/purple, black/white.
Intensity refers to the brightness or dullness of a color. An example is bright red (or dull red).
Color Schemes (Color Harmonies):
Monochrome (meaning “one color”) color harmonies include only one color in different value (the lightness and darkness of a color) and intensity (the brightness or dullness of a color). An example of a monochrome color scheme could include any color mixed with white, gray, or black. For example, red, rose and pink (red mixed with white) are monochrome.
Adjacent colors (also called analogous colors) uses colors that neighbor each other on the color wheel. An example is a color scheme that includes various values and intensities of reds and oranges.
Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors. For example, violet and yellow are complementary colors. So are red and green, and blue and orange.
A single split complement uses a primary color plus colors on either side of its complement. An example is a color scheme that includes various values and intensities of greens, violet-reds and red-oranges.
A triad uses colors at the points of an equilateral triangle (three colors spaced equally on the color wheel). These are sometimes called balanced colors. An example of a triadic scheme could be red, blue, and yellow; green, orange, and purple, etc.
A double split complement (also called tetradic) uses two pairs of complements, one apart on the color wheel. An example is red, green, orange, and blue.
Warm Colors and Cool Colors
The warm colors include reds, oranges, and yellows; the cool colors include blues, greens and violets. The neutral colors are black, white, and grays.
Art Label Me Printouts
A color wheel shows the relationship between the colors. Label and color the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors on the color wheel.
On this Label Color Complements printable worksheet, label the color relationships on the diagrams.
Links to Coloring Book Print-outs for Kids
- Hundreds of animal coloring pages
- Mother Goose Rhyme Coloring pages
- Color by number printouts
- Dinosaur theme activities that use simple arithmetic problems
- Butterfly printout that uses simple arithmetic problems
- Dinosaur printouts to color
- Shark printouts to color
- Whale printouts to color
- Artist Painting printouts to color