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Lesson Plans

Re Colour Wheel

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James Nairne (
Mon, 01 Sep 1997 12:59:42 +0000

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The colour wheel doesn't need yellow at the top, as you say its a wheel.
The wheel needs to be round so the complementary (opposite colours are
clear to see) red/green, yellow/purple, orange/blue

There is some good info here:

Also when I teach it we use the double primary sysstem so that
the wheel goes: yellow(red shade), yellow(blue shade), Green, Blue
(green shade), blue (red shade), Purple, Red(blue shade),
red(yellowshade), orange.

The true primaries are of course magenta, cyan, yellow... approximating
to Red(Blue shade) eg a cerise or crimson, Blue(Green shade) eg a
phthalo or prussian blue, yellow(blueshade) eg a lemon yellow.

Too often pupils are provided with scarlet [red(yellowshade)],
Ultramarine Blue [Blue(red shade)], a cadmium yellow[Yellow(Red shade)]
and wonder why they cant mix bright purples, and clean greens.

Too complicated? :-)

James Nairne

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