The Color Wheel was created by Sir Issac Newton.
He used a prism to elicit his color. Simply, it was light through a window through a
Prism as shown above.


With more study focusing light, white light, a better result could be maintained. Below using another barrier for light to pass through each color could be separated and shown through a prism.

This is Sir Issac Newton's original color wheel. it was done in water color


A simple color wheel using tints and shades to exhibit a range of color and light

This color wheel above shows how the colors need to be arranged and how they effect one another if the lines between then are
followed. They show Primary, Secondary and Complements and Tertiary color.
The wheel above is a break down of Color Theory complete with color symbols, blue for sky and sea. For most artist this is all they need. Mostly though we follow our instincts and base choices ups what the picture is calling for.

Question, How does an artist choose what color they will use? Is this decision based on anything?
I'd love to give an answer but what would the point be for me to answer what you should wonder about? How do yo pick your color. I wear black and gray a lot. How did I get to that? The answers should be as alike and different as we are and that is all I will say for now.


A color scale of Yellow hue. The first line is adding white, a tint, Saturation or Intensity. The second line is a mix of a neutral gray or maybe even its complement, violet. The last line is a mix of the shade, black .

What is color?
Color is reflected light. It is electromagnetic waves made by a light source, natural or man made, candle or sun. Red is the longest wavelength while violet is the shortest. Why we see color has to do with absorption and reflection. When light hits an object say a yellow object, all the wavelengths are absorbed by the object except the yellow ones, which is bounced or reflected into our eyes. Therefore we see yellow.

Do we all see the same yellow?
No, because we are all different. The retina in our eyes reads color as the yellow you see. Not necessarily the yellow I see. We all read or understand color differently, but not so differently that we don’t recognize a color. As well, if you are in brighter light
(more light source) then you will see a brighter yellow than me.
If an object is orange then the wavelengths reflected are?
If an object is purple, then the wavelengths reflected are?

Color has three characteristics. They are hue, value and, intensity.
Hue is the predominate color being in a mix yellow orange, red violet. Hue is the name of the color.

Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. White is tinting the color. Black is shading the color.

Intensity is the saturation of white into a color or it’s brightness.


A choma scale using the complements of Red and Green. The resulting color is a neutral gray.

Sir Isaac Newton experimented with prisms, light and color. His experiments involved refracting white light through a prism. The result was the same spectrum of seven colors we see today, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. His theory was that light breaks down into the spectrum of seven colors when run through the prism.
What can you assume was the prevailing theory concerning color?
How do you think he proved his theory?

His experiments are the basis formic of what we know about color, the most important being that light was the source for all color. the Impressionist would even use the term light when discussing color. Monet would say he isn't painting a building or flowers, instead he was painting the light.
Each artist uses color to accommodate what they are trying to achieve. The Impressionist referred to color as light on objects and not the objects themselves. To the Abstract Expressionist color was symbolic of emotion until their work progressed to being just about color. To the Pop Artists color was gathered from the world of advertising. It was bright, intense with not a lot of close value changes. Contrasting color was their thing. Color comes from what we look at. Joan Mitchell's color refers to memory of place, feelings of those places.

Color is it's own language. Color can be symbol. Color can be emotion or color can be color.


The lightness or darkness of a color. A color’s value can be altered by
adding white to make tints or black to make shades of the color.

The relative lightness or darkness of something.
4 things value does:
1) show form or give form to shape, 2d - 3d
2) depth and space
3) show or develop mood or expression
4) exhibit a higher order of thinking.
*Consistency in shading makes value work.

Color wheel: A circular chart that shows primary, secondary, and intermediate
colors in an order that illustrates progression through the spectrum and
relationships among colors.
Primary colors: The three colors (blue, red, and yellow) from which other
colors are made. The primary colors cannot be made from other colors.
Secondary color: A color created by mixing two primary colors in equal
proportions. The secondary colors are orange (made from red and
yellow), green (made from blue and yellow), and violet (made from red
and blue).
Tertiary or Intermediate colors: Colors created when a primary color (red,
yellow, or blue) is mixed with a secondary color (orange, green, or violet).
Hue: Another word for color.
Intensity: The brightness or dullness of a color. A color's intensity is highest,
or most pure, when it is not mixed with another color. Colors that contain
traces of other colors or of neutrals have lower intensity.

Shade: A dark value of a color made by adding black to the color.
Tint: A light value of a color created by adding the color to white.
Color family: A group of related colors. For example, warm colors and cool
colors are each color families.
Cool colors: Related colors that range from green through blue and violet.
Cool colors bring to mind cool objects, places and feelings.
Warm colors: Related colors that range from red through orange and yellow.
Warm colors remind people of warm objects, places, and feelings.
Complementary colors: Colors that contrast with one another.
Complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.
Also called contrasting colors.
Analogous colors: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel (for
example, yellow, and yellow-orange). Also called related colors.
Monochrome: A painting, drawing, or photograph using tints and shades of
the same hue.
Neutrals: A word used for black, white, and tints and shades of gray. Some
designers also consider tints and shades of brown to be neutrals.
Palette: A flat board on which a painter holds and mixes colors. Can refer to
the range of colors used in a particular artwork, or a selection of colors
most often used by a particular artist.
Colorist: An artist who uses color with great skill.
Color scheme: A plan for combining colors in a work of art.
Monochromatic color scheme: A color scheme based on the tints and
shades of one color.
Analogous color scheme: A color scheme based on colors that are next to
each other on the color wheel.
Complementary color scheme: A color scheme based on the use of two
complementary colors.
Split complementary color scheme: A color scheme that uses three
colors—a color and the two colors on either side of it’s complement (for
example: green, red violet and red orange).
Triadic color scheme: A color scheme that uses three colors that are equally
spaced around the color wheel (for examaple: red orange, yellow green,
and blue violet). The primary colors form a triad. The secondary colors
form a triad.
A monochromatic sky

Color is mixed by adding a small amount of color to another color. This way the artist controls the mix or change.
Chroma is color. A chroma scale is how a color is neutralized or grayed out. Every color has a complement diagonally across from itself on the color wheel.Here we have a color wheel showing all the different types of color.

BK color
A Painters Pallet. Notice how the colors are laid out. Warms, cools, white or tints. Every artist has their way of laying out their pallet, even if it was in five gallon buckets.
As space recedes mid ground into background, color gets lighter ot it maybe tinted to achieve this effect.

Color Schemes and Harmony, very informative site.
coolwarm.jpgcool/warm complimentary.jpgcomplementarymonochromatic.jpgmonochromaticanalogous.jpg Analogous tetrad.jpg tetrad triad copy.jpgtriadtriad.jpgTriad. any three colors equal distance apart on the color wheel

dscn7291-copy-2.jpgdscn5550-copy-32.jpg sketching ink and a painted sketch. Both are expressing color tones and values.
painted-twig-heart.jpg Using color in a different way, right onto sticks. Painted Twig Heart, artist ? sorry Now what if the strings were painted and the sticks were left raw?
pastel-value-scale.jpg A T / S pastel gridded colornscale.

Color is personnel. A good colorist is flexible, allowing the color to dictate an out come. Other artists use color to decorate the picture. Some use it as symbol which works if your audience knows this. I guess the real question is, does it matter to your audience? They, like the artist will like the work for their own reasons and color is personal. Does it work in a scheme? Does it work in harmony with the surroundings? Or does it stand out against the surroundings becoming a focal point based upon contrast? There are so many reasons to choose a color or set of colors. Look at Wolf Kahn's landscapes. Where does his color come from? How about Mark Rothko? I think on of the first colorists was Manet. Why? Because of his use of black and its contrast to the surrounding colors which he borrowed from Velazquez and Zurbaran. (My opinion totally) Would Wolf Kahn's color work with Manet?

wheel-rect-tetrad.jpg 2525591.jpg
Tetrad Schemes are any four colors equidistance on the color wheel8510893.jpg