November 4, 2009

Colour is life

colour quoteIt’s Wednesday, which means colour theory class tonight. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun and interesting and I’m learning lots of great stuff about colour. And I really like my teacher — she just oozes passion for colour :-)

doors flickr

Our first project was to create a colour wheel. OK, so it isn’t exactly round, but it’s close!!

kelly colour wheel

Did you know that Sir Isaac Newton is credited with inventing the colour wheel in 1706? The colour wheel is a visual representation of twelve colours arranged by their chromatic (colour) relationships:colour wheel

The three colour families on the wheel are (from left to right) Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.

primary colours  secondary colours  tertiary colours 

Primary: Blue, red, and yellow. These colours are at their basic essence — they cannot be created by mixing other colours.

Red_Blue_Yellow upiphoto

Secondary: Purple, orange, and green. These colours are created by mixing two primary colours at a 50/50 ratio — or in the case of these cauliflowers, by decades of traditional selective breeding ;-)

cauliflower daily mail

Tertiary: Blue-purple, red-purple, red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, and blue-green. These colours are created by mixing one primary colour and one secondary colour at a 50/50 ratio.

tertiary colours flickr

And that’s just the start!! There are so many fascinating things to learn about colour —how we perceive colour, why we react to colours and colour combinations the way we do, how colours interact with each other… it would take a lifetime to learn it all. In fact, a lot of what we know about colour today we learned from people who actually did dedicate a large portion of their lives to studying colour.

card zazzle 2

If you want to learn more about colour with weekly blog colour lessons, leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to share what I’m learning in my colour theory class with you :-)

sig new

Colour wheels from


Paul Anater said...


I can never get enough of color theory. Please start a series!

Sarah @ Dream In Domestic said...

I'd love to learn more! I say why not?

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

Excellent post Kelly! I feel like I'm back in Lucia's class! And you are right - she oozes passion for colour.

Love your colour wheel! (OK that part of the class I DON'T miss - the endless mixing, painting chips, drying ... very tedious).

Have fun tonight!

Kat said...

Great post Kelly! I would love it if you did a series of posts on color theory. I could use all the help I can get! Kathy

qerat said...

We would love to know what you are learning Kelly

Unknown said...

More, more, more! I'm one of those people that can put colors together and they just go - but I don't always know the reason behind why they go!

Maya@Completely Coastal said...

Me too, yes, please share what you're learning!!

Maria Killam said...

I'm always curious to see how other teachers teach colour theory so post away :) Loved this colourful one!

Unknown said...

Open mind means artist within. You can never learn enough I'd love to learn more. Color on!


Gayle said...

Yes! That sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

A little slow reading this, but would love to learn what you can pass on. Yea!

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