When the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue, are mixed, they form the secondary colors, green, orange and purple. Mixing primary colors with secondary colors produces tertiary colors. Shade, tint and tone are created by the addition of black, white or both.
Sir Isaac Newton created the color wheel in 1666. It is a diagram of colors in the order they are found in the natural world, such as in a rainbow or when light travels through a prism. Color wheels are basic guides for mixing colors. The simplest color wheel has the primary colors, which cannot be created by mixing any other colors.
Secondary colors are produced by blending two adjacent primary colors on the color wheel. For example, yellow and red make orange, and red and blue create purple. A secondary color wheel has, in order, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green. Each secondary color sits between the parent primary colors.
To make a tertiary color, an adjacent primary and secondary color are mixed. Examples of this include yellow and orange creating yellow-orange and blue and green making blue-green. These colors are likewise in order around the color wheel, with the new color tucked between the parent primary and secondary colors.
Shades of color are created by adding black, while tints are made by adding white. The latter is often referred to as a pastel. Mixing white and black, or gray, into a color creates a more muted tone.