The Seven Colors of the Rainbow – Art Paper
Introduction – Within a rainbow, there are seven colors –Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. If we exclude Indigo, the other six colors when arranged in a circle form the Color Wheel There are a range of different terms when referring to color. We use warm or cool, light or dark, strong or weak, contrasting or complementary.

Primary Colors – The first three colors to discuss are Red, Yellow and Blue. These are the primary colors. We can mix any other color using these three primary colors, but these are the base colors and there are no previous colors, and therefore cannot be mixed.

Secondary Colors – There are three secondary colors, Orange, Green and Violet. These are mixed from the primary colors, Red and Yellow to make Orange, Yellow and Blue to make Green, and Blue and Red to make Violet. These colors can then be mixed with the primary colors to make more colors, called tertiary colors.

Warm and Cool – Warm colors are Red, Orange and Yellow and any mix of colors between these three. Cool colors are Green, Blue and Violet and any mix of colors between these three. Warm colors will give a painting a warm overall feel, while cool colors will give a painting a cool feel.

Complementary Colors – Each color has a complementary (opposite) color in the color wheel, eg: YYellow (arm) is opposite to Violet (cool), Red (warm) is opposite to Green (cool), and Orange (warm) is opposite to Blue (cool). When we use complementary colors next to each other, they contrast with each other.

Light and Dark – To make color lighter, we would add a drop of white paint to the color being used, to make it lighter; we would add 2 drops of white paint to the color, and so on. To make a color darker we would add a drop of black paint to the color, then 2 drops and so on. Each color has different tones which make up the lights and darks of that color.

Conclusion – The primary colors, which are first in order, when mixed create the secondary colors. Secondary colors, second in order, when mixed with the primary colors create tertiary colors, third in order. The mixing can go on for ages, but we focus on the first three groups, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary which make up the Color Wheel.