Color: Color Wheel
The color wheel is comprised of main colors (on the
outer ring): red, purple, blue, green, yellow, and orange.
The inner ring are pastel versions of the main colors. If
there was a third outer ring, it would be a darker shade.
The colors orange, red, and yellow are known
as the warm colors. These colors are bright, cheerful,
and are associated with anything hot which is why they are
aptly called warm colors.
Purple, blue, and green, on the other hand
are the cool colors. These three colors are are often
used in shadows among other things which is why they are
called cool colors.
Some useful terms that you should familiarize yourself
Hue - A pure color; the color itself (red, yellow, blue,
Intensity - refers to the brightness of a color.
In order to lower a colors intensity(dull down), add a small
amount of its complement; its opposite color(more about
complements later). For example, to dull down red, add a
bit of green. If equal amounts of red and green are mixed,
the color becomes brown not a dulled down red.
Value - refers to the lightness or darkness of a
color. For example, to lighten a color add white.
Primary Colors - red, yellow, and blue. They are
the basic colors that make up all the other colors of the
color wheel. For example, if you mix red and yellow - you
get the secondary color: orange. Mix red and blue - you
get purple. Mix blue and yellow- you get green. And from
there you can create tertiary colors like turquoise (a blue
green color) or fuschia (a red purple color).
Secondary Colors - orange, violet, and green. These
are made mixing any of the primary colors as explained above.
Tertiary Colors - Colors made by mixing a primary
and its secondary color.
Neutral Colors - when equal amounts of two complementary
colors are used, a neutral grey or brown is made.
Colors adjacent to each other are called Analogous
Colors. These colors are beside each other in the color
wheel such as red and orange, green and yellow, green and
blue, blue and purple, etc.
Colors across from each other are called Complementary
Colors. Colors such as purple and yellow, green and
red (x-mas colors!), and blue and orange can be matched
If you try to match colors that are not Complementary
or Analogous, they do not fit together as well. Try to stick
to using complimentary and analogous colors as much as possible.
If you want to use other color coordination besides the
one's mentioned, you may do so but you might have to take
up a bit of time mixing and matching.
The Other Color Wheel: CMY
The color wheel described above is the traditional color
wheel where the main colors are grouped based on the
classic methods of mixing color through paints. These are
RGB (red, green, blue). With the advant of computers
and printing, a new color wheel emerged called CMY
(cyan, magenta, yellow) color wheel as seen on the right.
So, which one should you use? Either one is usable though most people
tend to favor RGB in general over CMY.
1. When using color, you have to consider other colors
as well. For example, if you use a white background as the
colorwheel above right, the colors in the wheel look brighter
whereas the colors with the black background above look
darker. Colors take on the "effect" of the color
When you create a character, your choice of color will make
the character look either a good guy or a bad guy. Good
guys usually have "lighter" color clothing as
opposed to bad guys which have "darker" shades
of color. This does not mean that you have to give your
good guy character's all pastel colors -- what it means,
for example, is that if a good guy has a blue shirt then
as a bad guy the shirt color will be blue also but in a
3. Look at the composition of the colors in
a picture. Try to achieve balance. Take this example here
to the left. When I colored this guy, the orange stood
out a lot. I mean a lot!! To dull down the orange I used
a dark blue background - orange's complementary color. That
is balance. Try to consider it when you color your drawings
or other images.