1) Primary Colors

Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. No colors can be mixed together to make them.

Check out artwork by Piet Mondrian.

2) Secondary Colors

Green, orange and violet. Secondary colors are made by mixing equal parts of two primary colors. See (11) Color Mixing below.

3) Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are made by mixing a primary color with its secondary neighbor. The first part of the name is the primary color, the second part of the name is the secondary color. For example: Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green and Yellow-Orange. See (13) Color Wheel - 12 Colors below.

4) Complementary Colors

Complementary colors consist of one primary and one secondary color across from each other on the color wheel. For example: Red and Green, Blue and Orange, Yellow and Violet. See (12) Color Wheel - 6 colors below.

Check out artwork by Stuart Davis, Colonial Cubism.

5) Analogous Colors

Three to four colors adjacent on the color wheel. In this example: Blue, Blue-Green, Green, Yellow-Green. See (13) Color Wheel-12 colors below.

Check out artwork by Claude Monet, Palazzo da Mula.

6) Neutral Colors

The neutral colors are brown, tan and gray and are made by mixing complementary colors together.

7) Monochromatic Colors

Monochromatic colors are shades and tints of one color. This combination of colors is harmonious, restful and subtle. See (14) Hue and Value below.

8) Color Discord

Color discord is created by using colors widely separated on the color wheel. These colors are visually disturbing … they clash. But, however unpleasant, they can provide excitement. For example: pink and orange. See (13) Color Wheel – 12 Colors below.

Other examples include: (a) a primary color and a tertiary color beyond an adjacent secondary (red and blue-violet); (b) a secondary and a tertiary beyond the primary (orange and yellow-green); (c) two tertiary colors on either side of a primary (blue-violet and blue-green).

Check out art by Franz Marc, The Yellow Cow.

9) Depth

Overlapping adds depth to a drawing.

10) Silhouette

11) Color Mixing

12) Color Wheel - 6 Colors

A color wheel helps an artist see how colors relate to one another.

13) Color Wheel - 12 Colors

This color wheel shows primary (circle), secondary (square) and tertiary (triangle) colors.

14) Hue and Value

Hue is another name for color. The value of a color (or hue) is made by adding white (tint) or black (shade). Red and white makes pink.

15) Black and White Base Art

Use "Paint" program to make a base and reuse it to make your color studies. This is the one I used.

NOTE: Save artwork as a jpeg file to load onto computer.

Learn About Color On Your Own

You can create all these color combinations with the Paint program on your computer. Copy and paste the lessons below to a blog or any word document. Save your art as a "jpeg" file before loading.

Color Lessons

1) Primary Colors - Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. No colors can be mixed together to make them.

2) Secondary Colors – Green, orange and violet. Secondary colors are made by mixing equal parts of two primary colors. Blue and Yellow = Green Yellow and Red = Orange Red and Blue = Violet

3) Tertiary Colors – Tertiary colors are made by mixing a primary color with its secondary neighbor. The first part of the name is the primary color, the second part of the name is the secondary color. Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green and Yellow-Orange

4) Complementary Colors – Complementary colors consist of one primary and one secondary color across from each other on the color wheel. For example: Red and Green, Blue and Orange, Yellow and Violet. See (12) Color Wheel - 6 colors below.

5) Analogous Colors – Three to four colors adjacent on the color wheel. For example: Blue, Blue-Green, Green, Yellow-Green. See (13) Color Wheel - 12 colors below.

6) Neutral Colors – The neutral colors are brown, tan and gray and are made by mixing complementary colors together.

7) Monochromatic Colors – Monochromatic colors are shades and tints of one color. This color combination is harmonious, restful and subtle.

8) Color Discord – Color discord is created by using colors widely separated on the color wheel. These colors are visually disturbing … they clash. But, however unpleasant, they can provide excitement. See (13) Color Wheel – 12 Colors below.

For example: pink and orange. Other examples include: (a) a primary color and a tertiary color beyond an adjacent secondary (red and blue-violet); (b) a secondary and a tertiary beyond the primary (orange and yellow-green); and (c) two tertiary colors on either side of a primary (blue-violet and blue-green

9) Depth – Overlapping adds depth to artwork.

10) Silhouette

11) Color Mixing

12) Color Wheel - 6 colors – A color wheel helps an artist see how colors relate to one another.

13) Color Wheel - 12 colors - This color wheel includes primary (circle), secondary (square) and tertiary (triangle) colors.

14) Hue and Value – Hue is another name for color. The value of a color (or hue) is made by adding white (tint) or black (shade). Red and white makes pink.

15) Black and White Base - Make your own black and white base to fill in with the various color combinations.