A color wheel is a chart that helps us understand the relationship between colors. A color wheel should not be the only resource used to make color decisions, but it does help narrow the possibilities.
Forget about all the "rules" you've heard about colors that do and do not "match," because any color will work with any other color when we experiment with different variations of each. That's where a color wheel comes in handy.
Terms you'll hear when you use a color wheel.
Primary ColorsBlue, red and yellow are called primary colors because they are the basis for other colors. Mix them together in different ways and you can create every other color on the color wheel.
The three primary colors are arranged at equal distances from each other on the most commonly used (and most simple) color wheel, shown above.
The three secondary colors on a color wheel are located midway between the primary colors. Secondary colors are created by mixing together equal amounts of the primary colors that touch their sides.
- Green -- made from equal parts of blue and yellow
- Orange -- made from equal parts of yellow and red
- Violet -- made from equal parts of blue and red