Colour Wheel

Primary colours

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue

Subtractive colours (occurs when mixing pigments like paint) based on what is reflected and what is absorbed.
Red reflects only red light & absorbs everything else.
Cannot be mixed/formed by any other colour combinations.
Different primary colour combinations applicable in different ares.
Standard computer monitor uses red, green & blue light – additive combination. Mixing these colours produces light of different colours.
Printing uses different combination – cyan, magenta & yellow. Subtractive set – based on what is reflected from paper.
Hard to produce black from the three colours so printers often have separate black.
Secondary colours

  • Green
  • Orange
  • Purple

Formed by mixing primary colours.
Tertiary colours  

  • Yellow-orange
  • Red-orange
  • Red-purple
  • Blue-purple
  • Blue-green
  • Yellow-green

Formed by mixing one primary and one secondary colour.


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