Color - (Wheel|Circle|Disc) (Hue Organization)

About

After Newton had used a prism to separate daylight and count seven individual colors (hue), it appeared to him that this was a closed system. By taking the violet end of the spectrum and linking it to the red start-point, he thus created a convincing circle of colours.

A color wheel or color circle is an abstract illustrative organization of color hues around a circle that shows relationships between colors from:

  • a primary point of view
  • or opponent point of view

Type

Primary Colors

Most color wheels are based on three primary colors, three secondary colors, and the six intermediates formed by mixing a primary with a secondary, known as tertiary colors, for a total of 12 main divisions; some add more intermediates, for 24 named colors.

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Subtractive

In a paint or subtractive color wheel:

  • the subtractive primary color (magenta, yellow, and cyan) are arranged at three equally spaced points around their color wheel.
  • the center is usually black, representing all colors of light being absorbed
  • Intermediate and interior points of color wheels and circles represent color mixtures.

Additive

In a additive model:

  • the additive primary color (red, green, blue (Blue violet)) are arranged at three equally spaced points around their color wheel.
  • the center is white or gray, indicating a mixture of different wavelengths of light (all wavelengths, or two complementary colors, for example).
  • Intermediate and interior points of color wheels and circles represent color mixtures.

Opponent colors

Other color wheels, however, are based on the four opponent colors, and may have four or eight main colors.

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Documentation / Reference


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