Colour Theory

Colour Wheel: Reference tool that indicates where colours lie on the spectrum, and the relationship between Primary (red, blue, yellow), Secondary (orange, green, purple) and tertiary colours.

Complementary Colour: Colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/violet).

Hue: Common name for a colour (purple, red, blue)

Value/Luminosity: Lightness (tint) or Darkness (shade) of a colour. Darker values are often used for shadows, lighter values for highlights.

Intensity/Saturation/Chroma: Brightness or dullness of a colour (desaturated colours are muted/greyed out or dull). You can lower the intensity of a colour by mixing in its complementary hue. Foreground colours of paintings are often higher in saturation than backgrounds.

Click on the image to open to view in image form 🙂


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