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					The 12 Step Color Wheel
This 12 step color wheel will provide the basic information needed to grasp most color design challenges.

The basic principles of color theory and design are simple. The color wheel becomes a visual aid in helping us understand the principles of color. It is also an excellent tool to help create harmonious color schemes for painting, interior decorating, and commercial design. It creates an orderly progression of color that helps us understand color balance and harmony. Our color wheel starts with the 3 primary colors, placed in an equilateral triangle.

The next aspect to the color wheel is creating the secondary colors. These colors are placed in triangles above the corresponding primary color combination This system of color mixing is known as the subtractive process, because the resulting subtracting color subtract or absorbs even more waves from the white light than the first color did. Secondary or Complementary Colors: When any one primary color is mixed with another a secondary color effect is produced. 3 secondary colors are produced from the mixing of one primary color with another.

The secondary colors are:
  

orange (mix red + yellow) green (mix yellow + blue) violet (mix blue + red)

These secondary colors are also known as complementary colors. The final step to creating the 12 step color wheel will be to create a ring around the newly formed primary and secondary color form. Divided into twelve equal segments, the primary and secondary colors shall be repeated to their corresponding segment within the surrounding ring. This will leave a blank segment between every two colors. In these blank segments the tertiary colors will be created. TERITARY COLORS: These colors are created when mixing one secondary and one primary color. i.e. blue + violet = blue violet. Three or more separate colors are mixed (one primary and one secondary – the combination of two primaries), and in our color wheel each tertiary color being created will be an equal combination of the two colors, left and right, surrounding an open segment.

The tertiary colors are: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue violet, bluegreen, and yellow-green.

The sequence of colors on the color wheel should resemble that of the rainbow. We can now use our color wheel as the basis of understanding color and color combinations techniques.


				
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