What Are the Intermediate Colors?

intermediate-colors Credit: Axel Schwenke/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Intermediate colors are made up of yellow-orange, orange-red, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green and yellow-green. These colors are combinations of both primary and secondary colors.

Secondary colors are orange, green and violet, while primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Primary colors are the basis for all of the other colors that exist on a color wheel. No matter what shade, they will be some form of red, blue or yellow. The secondary colors are direct combinations of these three colors. Orange is made by mixing yellow and red; green is made by mixing yellow and blue; and violet is made by mixing red and blue.

The colors that make up these intermediate, secondary and primary colors are often found on color wheels. Color wheels show the way that colors transfer between each other and combine to make different tones and shades. Complementary colors are ones that are next to each other on a color wheel. They complement one another and provide a good decorating base. Contrasting colors are opposite from each other on the color wheel and generally match, but should not be used excessively. The color wheel is used in decorating, painting and, in the world of cosmetology, for hair coloring purposes.