Part Ib - Basic Colour TheoryEdit

Colour is an important aspect any design, it sets the mood and adds accents to more neutral colours to make certain areas stand out. Here I am only going to touch on some of the very basics of colour and how they interact with each other.

Colour theory is defined as being:

In the visual arts, colour theory is a body of practical guidance to colour mixing and the visual impacts of specific colour combinations...."

So first lets bring in some colours to show what we can do with some colour mixing.


The Colour WheelEdit

The above image on the left is known as the colour wheel, there can be many different versions of the colour wheel but it always has the 12 basic colours in it and show how those colours relate to one another and some wheels go into greater detail with blends between those colours.

Warm and CoolEdit

We can break the colour wheel in half to create Warm Colours and Cool Colours. Warm colours include hues from red through yellow, browns and tans included; cool colours are hues from blue green through blue violet, most greys included. Warm colours are vivid, bold, and energetic. They tend to advance in space and can overwhelm less eye catching hues. If an element in your build needs to pop out, consider using warm colours to do that. Cool colours are soothing. They give an impression of calm and rarely overpower the main content or message of a design. Cool colours tend to recede and can be used if some element of your build needs to fade into the background.

I attempted to get the colours as close as possible but anything short of making a texture pack would not have resulted differently.


Starting on the right you have the primary colours, the middle you have the secondary colours and on the left you have the tertiary colours.

Primary ColoursEdit

Primary colours are the main colours needed to mix all other colours. Primary colours come in sets of 3 because of they way the receptors in human eyes work, we have 3 independent channels in the cones of our eyes for conveying colour information to the brain. For the purposes of this guide I will be explaining the primary colours of RGB (Red, Green and Blue). There are other primary colour sets that are used but because computers use RGB then I will do it with that.

Secondary ColoursEdit

A secondary colour is a colour made by mixing two primary colours. In this case it results in yellow, cyan and magenta.

Tertiary ColoursEdit

A tertiary colour is a colour made by mixing one primary colour with one secondary colour. This results in azure, violet, rose, orange, chartreuse and spring green.

Again the colours just didn't match her so I have made the best approximation.


On the right we have our complementary colours, in the middle we have split complementary colours and the left is the analogous colours.

Complementary ColoursEdit

Complementary colours are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as blue and yellow, red and cyan, magenta and green. They contrast, enhance and intensify each other. The high contrast between the tone and hue can be eye catching, but can be overwhelming, especially at full saturation. When you place complimentary colours next to each other, they will make each other appear brighter and more intense.

Split Complementary ColoursEdit

The split complementary scheme is a variation of the standard complementary scheme. It uses a colour and the two colours adjacent to its complementary. Using split complementary colours can give you a build with a high degree of contrast, yet still not as extreme as a real complementary colour. It also results in more variations and subtlety than the use of the direct complementary.

Analogous ColoursEdit

Analogous colours are colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. Analogous colour schemes are often found in nature and are pleasing to the eye because the combination of these colours can create a bright and cheery effect.

Other Colour TypesEdit

There are of course other colour types like our RGB which known as additive, traditional for RYB(Red, Yellow, Blue) and subtractive for CYM(Cyan, Yellow, Magenta). These colour schemes can result in different complementary colours and others. There are also other colour schemes I have not covered like Triadic, Tetradic, Achromatic etc...

So before this gets too long I will have to implore you to do your own research into using colour to blend some things together and accent others to make it stand out.


Each tutorial will come with some accompanying links where I get information from or think can be helpful to expanding on what I have said here.