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Making a Color Wheel And Why You Need One

I have been reading a lot about color theory and color palette options these days. It's been a tremendous help when deciding how I paint my own canvases and what base colors to begin my palette. Whether I use analogous or complementary colors as a primary interest is a consideration as well.

That means having a firm understanding of a color wheel and where colors get their hue is integral in painting convincing people and landscapes.

3 Aspects of Color Theory

After finishing the book called Color by Betty Edwards, I have really paid much stronger attention to three aspects of Color theory.

They are:

Hue- or place on the color wheel

Intensity- Degree of true or dulled with its complement

Value- how much white or black, or light or dark on a value scale

Do The Work

Another thing I have realized this year is that there is no substitute for actually doing the work. Reading about theories on how to paint or mix colors is not the same as actually creating your color wheels and experimenting with colors and pigments. It is never a waste of time to paint simple color exercises. Truly illuminating.

Color Theory Video

This week I finished editing a YouTube Video to my channel that shows you exactly how to make your own color wheel. This helps the artist better understand where a color is in relation to other pigments are when trying to recreate a hue as seen in nature. First, the artist must identify the Hue of a color, where on the color wheel it is. Is it Violet? Permanent Green, etc.

That decision-making process is where making your own color wheel is so important. Knowing what hues comprise a color you are trying to duplicate.

Other Color Theory Homework

Another exercise I did, which I highly recommend ( and will probably make another video about) is doing a Value Study for an individual color wheel pigment. Starting with white at 12 o'clock, start adding the red pigment in 4 steps until you have true red. Then work backward adding white until you are one step away from white, or a very light pink.

Lastly, you can do a Intensity Study using complementary colors in which you start with one of a pair of complements and slowly add the opposite until you get to a no-color neutral. Then you continue adding back the original color in four more steps until you are just one step away from that full true pigment. This is a great way to see interesting neutral tones for shadows not using black.

I will probably do a YouTube video on these additional subjects next month.

Thank you so much for following me on my art journey.

Look for an updated look on my website to match my facebook, Instagram and Etsy shops.

That video link is here as well, or you can click on the picture above:

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