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Colour Wheel


Primary colours

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue

Subtractive colours (occurs when mixing pigments like paint) based on what is reflected and what is absorbed.

Red reflects only red light & absorbs everything else.

Cannot be mixed/formed by any other colour combinations.

Different primary colour combinations applicable in different ares.

Standard computer monitor uses red, green & blue light – additive combination. Mixing these colours produces light of different colours.

Printing uses different combination – cyan, magenta & yellow. Subtractive set – based on what is reflected from paper.

Hard to produce black from the three colours so printers often have separate black.

Secondary colours

  • Green
  • Orange
  • Purple

Formed by mixing primary colours.

Tertiary colours  

  • Yellow-orange
  • Red-orange
  • Red-purple
  • Blue-purple
  • Blue-green
  • Yellow-green

Formed by mixing one primary and one secondary colour.

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  1. Effective Use of Colour | Adventures in DBA Land

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