What Is an Artist Color Wheel?


Quick Answer

An artist color wheel is a circular tool used to help artists decide color schemes. It combines scientific principles and subjective preferences to show the relationships between tertiary, primary and secondary colors.

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Full Answer

While the original color wheel, designed by Sir Isaac Newton, corresponded with hues of colors, the modern wheel arranges colors according to wavelengths of light. Equally situated around the wheel, the three primary colors serve as the base with other colors representing color mixtures. Many color wheels use three primary colors, three secondary colors and six tertiary colors, which are a mixture of a primary and a secondary color.

Colors that appear on the wheel have wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometers, with the longest wavelengths being on the red end of the spectrum.

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