Understanding Color Wheel Basics
When it comes to color in art, it comes down to how the color wheel is created. It begins with 3 colors, called the primary colors. These are pure color mind you. Once you add white or black to a pure color (or hue) you create tints and shades, but that is another article. Mix two primary colors and you get a secondary color. Take a primary color and mix it with a secondary color and you now have a tertiary color. Imagine playing with frosting and food coloring. Mixing colors is so much fun. I do the same thing with Stampin’ Up! inks and pens.
Red, Blue, and Yellow are the primary colors for an artist. These colors are the base for making all colors. What about black and white you ask? Well, in light, white is all colors and black is the absence of color. In watercolor, white is where the paper comes through and black is where the colors muddle together. When I am using Stampin’ Up! inks I let Basic Gray, Early Esspresso, and Night of Navy create my darks. In the Stampin’ Up! palette of colors, I see Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Azure Afternoon as the primary colors. Now this is as of 2024 after the most recent color refresh. Color is big business in the world of marketing and product design. Pantone makes a fortune predicting the new ‘IN’ color for the upcoming season.
Blue and yellow make green. Yellow and red make orange. Red and blue make violet (the color worlds word for purple). Green, Orange and Violet are secondary colors. In Stampin’ Up! world, to me it would be Garden Green, Pumpkin Pie, and Gorgeous Grape. With these six colors you can have the complimentary colors (two colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel) and the beginnings of an analogous grouping (colors next to each other on the color wheel. Complimentary colors are often found together in Stampin’ Up!’s Designer Series Papers. For example, Real Red and Garden Green are frequently used in holiday collections of DSP.
As you can see from the color wheel above, there are now 12 colors in the wheel. There are three primary, three secondary, and now six more colors also know as tertiary colors. A primary color and a secondary color mixed together make a tertiary color. This is all getting a little confusing. First colors, second colors, and third colors are not very specific! The most common names for primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Secondary colors go by orange, green, and violet. Tertiary colors are much less inventive with red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green, blue violet, and red violet. You might have noticed that the names are comprised of the two colors mixed to make the third color. The primary color is the first name and the the secondary color comes, well, second. Pretty logical for a bunch of artists. I think a scientist brain came up with this system. Some logical person must have decided the first six color names were too arbitrary and decided to take charge.
Color Wheel in Stampin’ Up! Colors
Using the current colors in the collections I chose primarily from the Brights and Regals Collections to create a color wheel of saturated colors. Colors that are next to each other on the wheel work together. Colors opposite each other on the wheel work together. There are even triangles that work together like Orchid Oasis, Pumpkin Pie, and Daffodil Delight. This is only a selection of 12 colors out of the 50 in the Stampin’ Up! palette. Most of the colors in the Subtles group have white added to the rich color making it a tint. Some of the colors in the Regals and Neutrals collections have black added to it to make it a shade. All of these variations create a dynamic color palette in which to craft your paper designs.