The Color Wheel

The color wheel is an organization of color hues in a circular format. It not only shows what colors are produced when two colors mix, but it also shows relationships between primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors.

Primary Colors

The set of primary colors includes red, yellow and blue (RYB). These makeup the primary colors in the color wheel, followed by secondary colors and tertiary colors. Historically, artists have used the primary colors as part of their painting palettes. Red, yellow and blue were the official primary colors after Isaac Newton experimented with light and prisms.

Secondary Colors

When two primary colors are mixed using subtractive color mixing, they create secondary colors. The secondary colors are green, orange and violet.

Tertiary Colors

When one primary color is mixed with one secondary color in a given space, the result is a tertiary color. On the color wheel, tertiary colors include red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.