It's all about colour - Part One - The Colour Wheel

By Robyn Dowsley - July 26, 2017

Back in primary school art we all learnt about the colour wheel. Who knew it would have such an impact on our lives though!  I know I use it when I am preparing or editing a photo shoot, when I am picking out what clothes to wear and when I am doing my make up.

As part of my study for my diploma in photo imaging I learnt a lot about colour.  We studied light, colours, refraction etc. I don't think all that information is necessary when it comes to make up but there is a large part of the information I learnt then that can be so useful when dealing with make up so I thought I'd share that here.  
The Colour Wheel

Primary Colours
These are the colours that all other colours are made out of.  They are Red, Yellow & Blue
Secondary Colours
Are the colours that are made when combining the 3 primary colours.  They are: Orange, Purple and Green

Tertiary Colours
These are the colours that are made of both primary and secondary colours. They are: Red-Violet, Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green, Yellow-Orange & Red-Orange

Tertiary & Beyond
So that's the basics - we all know the colour wheel and how the colours are made but I just wanted to touch on that briefly.  
So we have our colours - how do we make them work for us.  We can start by taking a look at the colours that go well together. This is where a colour wheel can be used to our advantage.  Colour wheels are awesome to look at on your phone or computer screen but it's also great to have a physical one. You can buy ones that turn around so that you can match precisely the colours below that we will be looking at.

Complementary Colours
These are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel.  So for example if you look at the colour wheel you can see that orange is opposite blue and that red is opposite green
Some examples of complementary colours (colour groups go from left to right)

Analogue Colours
These are colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel
Some examples of Analogue colours (colour groups go from left to right)

Triadic Colours
These are colours that are spaced equally apart on the colour wheel

Examples of Triadic Colours (colour groups go from left to right)

Split Complementary Colours
A split complementary colour is the colour and the two colours next to each other on its complementary.
Some examples of Triadic Colour Groups (colour groups go from left to right)

Tetratic Colours
These colours are where two lots of complementary colours are paired together. They form a rectangle type shapes on the colour wheel
Tetrad Colours
These are colours where you start with one colour and basically make a square on the colour wheel.  
Adjacent Tetrad Colours
These colours are two colours next to each other on the colour wheel and their two opposites on the colour wheel
Complementary Analogue Colours
These are colours where you select one colour then pick the colour either side of this and then the colour that is adjacent or complementary  to this starting colour



So that’s basically the colour wheel. And this information can help us apply our make up better. Not only can we work out what shades of eyeshadow or lipstick will work for us but we will also be able to use the colour wheel to our advantage by using it to colour correct our skin.  In part two of this blog series we will be looking making the colour wheel work for us!

Remember you can always message me or comment below with any questions you have on my content. 


Links to images provided in this blog:

http://www.tigercolor.com/

www.facebook.com/robyndowsleyphotography

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