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Color Theory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Color Theory. Color Theory. Color has three properties: Hue - which are the names of the colors. Value -which refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Intensity - which refers to the saturation of brightness of a color. The Color Wheel.

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Color Theory

Color has three properties:

Hue- which are the names of the colors.

Value-which refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.

Intensity-which refers to the saturation of brightness of a color.


The Color Wheel

The color wheel fits together like a puzzle - each color in a specific place. Being familiar with the

color wheel not only helps you mix colors

when painting, but in adding color to all your art works.

primary colors
Primary Colors

Primary colors are not mixed from other colors and they generate all other colors.

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue
secondary colors
Secondary Colors

By mixing two primary colors, a secondary color is created. Always start with the lightest color.

Yellow Red + = Orange

Yellow+ Blue = Green

Red+ Blue = Violet

intermediate colors
Intermediate Colors

Intermediate or Tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary and a secondary color.

  • blue-green
  • blue-violet
  • red-violet
  • red-orange
  • yellow-orange
  • yellow-green
neutral colors
Neutral Colors

Black, white, gray and sometimes brown

are considered "neutral” colors.


Color Values

Color values are the lights and darks of a color you create by using black and white (‘neutrals”) with a color. This makes hundreds of more colors from the basic 12 colors of the wheel.

  • white + color = tint
  • color + black = shade

Tints are lightened colors. Always begin with white and add a bit of color to the white until the desired tint is obtained. This is an example of a value scale for the tints of blue.


Shades are darkened colors. Always begin with the color and add just a bit of black at a time to get the desired shade of a color. This is an example of a value scale for the shades of blue.


There are two ways to lower the intensity of a color- that is, to make a color less bright, more neutral or dull. One way is to mix gray and the other is to mix its complement, the color directly across from it on the color wheel.