The three basic color-mixing charts are for primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors. These classifications are based on how the colors fit on a color wheel. The charts are used for mixing colors in a variety of applications, such as painting.
The color wheel is a chart showing the order of colors as seen in a rainbow or as they appear when white light travels through a prism. The basic color wheel has 12 shades and is the basis of color theory.
Primary colors are those that cannot be created by mixing any other colors together. These are yellow, red and blue. They can be darkened or lightened by adding black or white.
Secondary colors are formed by combining any two of the primary colors. These include orange, which is made from red and yellow; purple, which is made from red and blue; and green, which is made from blue and yellow. On a color wheel, the secondary colors sit between the primary colors that create them.
Mixing a primary color with an adjacent secondary color creates a tertiary color. Examples include blue and green making blue-green and yellow and orange making yellow-orange. The six shades that result fit between the primary and secondary colors, rounding out the 12 basic shades on the color wheel.