How to create the perfect mix of colors – Color theory basics

As an artistic person, one of the first thing you need to learn about is the color wheel. The thing is, you are probably going to interact with color the most in your entire artistic career. Colors make up an important part of how your painting is going to turn out. It could look good, or just turn out to be a waste of time and imagination.

 The color theory explain how color it perceived by the eye, its visual effects, how you can mix different colors and match them to contrast with each other so you can create an eye-catching piece of art.

The basics – understanding colors

Color creates perception in our eyes. The colors are organised in a wheel and grouped into primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  When your eyes see something, the information is set to our brans from our eyes and it registers the colors. Keep in mind that different objects will reflect light in different wavelength combinations giving different results.

The primary colors – The basic primary colors include yellow, blue and red. Traditionally, the primary colors are those that cannot be formed by any other color combinations.

Secondary colors – These are the basic colors formed when you mix two or more primary colors. Some examples include green, orange and purple.

Tertiary colors – Tertiary colors are formed when you mix a secondary color and primary color. Some examples of tertiary colors are red/Orange, blue/ green and red/purple.

The three main color schemes on the color wheel

Complementary colors – They are the opposite colors on the color wheel. For instance, red and green are complementary colors.  The sharp contrast between these two colors can make your image pop. 

Analogue colors – these are colors that sit next to each other on a color wheel. For instance, orange, yellow and red are complementary colors. Keep I mind that when you are mixing analogue colors, the darker one will dominate and the lighter accentuate the Image.

Triadic colors – They are completely spaced on the color wheel, are dynamic and can be very bright. Triadic color schemes create harmony and visual contrast in your art making it stand out.

Additive color mixing

The additive color mixing model, also known as mixing light allows me to create colors by mixing different variations of ed, blue and green light sources in different intensities. Adding more light makes the colors brighter and if you mix all three colors you get a clean white color.

Subtractive color mixing

When you add any color on a surface regardless of the material, it means you are using the subtractive color mixing model. This is a very popular mixing model because we learn it in so many ways from basic coloring as kids. This model is referred to as subtractive because you take away light from the paper by adding more color.

Color harmony for artists

The color harmony is basically a pleasing arrangement of color parts. In a visual experience like art, color harmony should be pleasing to your eye. Using harmony is a way for artists to create the viewers and create a balance in visual experience as well as an inner sense of order.