The color wheel turns!

I am learning about color and would like to share a few things I have learned.  I just starting learning with an extremely limited palette so that I can understand the color mixtures and how colors work.  Eventually I will add other colors but right now I am just starting with the primaries and seeing what I can mix and what happens to a color as you move it around the color wheel.  I would love it if people with more knowledge added to what I say here or let me know if I have anything wrong.

1.  Colors can not be made to “be lighter” or “be darker” without changing the hue (yellow, red, blue, etc) slightly.  When you want to make a color darker, you can move the hue slightly towards the next darkest color on the color wheel and then as soon as it starts to change color too much, you add the 3rd primary to kill the color that it is becoming.  This basically means that as a color gets darker, it drops in chroma as well… makes sense that black is ALL the colors and has the least amount of chroma right?  For example, take green and make it darker by adding a little blue to it.  Keep adding blue to make it darker but whenever the color looks too blue, add a little orange to kill that blue color.  Keep going until you get it as dark as you possibly can.

2.  When making a color lighter you add the closest color on the wheel that is a lighter value… then when the color changes, you are screwed. (hehe, or you add white?  Not sure about this one….)

3.  I know this one is elementary but, gray is the complementary colors mixed together.  If mixed carefully, you should theoretically be able to achieve a neutral gray.  Add more of one or the other and the gray shifts to a warm or cool gray.  For example, mix yellow with purple until you can’t tell whether the gray is purplish or yellowish, then simple add a little more of the purple to make the gray more purple (cooler) or add more yellow to make the gray shift toward yellow (warmer).

4.  When you add white to a neutral the color changes dramatically and I have no idea what the hell is going on.

Just starting to understand this mixing stuff and while I have done some quick color studies, I haven’t taken any pictures yet.  I’ll do an update with some of my failed painting attempts soon but until then, here is a cool (like awesome, not temperature 😉 ) color wheel I found that has tons of the common artists paints mapped to a wheel so you can see where they lie compared to one another.

Cheers!labwheel

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