Do-it-yourself color wheel
Do-it-yourself color wheel

We would like to invite you to a self-experiment: How good are you in mixing the color wheel with the opaque paintbox? After having accomplished it, certainly nothing stands in the way of using it in class.

Further material for this article.

Do-it-yourself color wheel

Primary colors, tertiary composites, secondary colors and the printing color model are terms that always come up in the theory of opaque paints. Practically, however, despite the theory being plausible, trying to find the right shade is always exciting again. The motto "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" serves as an inspiration to try to mix the color wheel on ones own.

Notice: The download template contains two different color wheels. One is in color and serves as a template and one is to self-design.

The CMYK Color Model

We are frequently asked which color model the Pelikan theory of opaque paints is based on. The CMYK printing color model serves as a basis here. Hereby, the letters symbolize the colors that are taken as a basis in the printing industry. Theoretically, all colors can be mixed out of the so-called primary colors cyan blue (C), magenta red (M), yellow (Y) and black (K). Black is required in order to shade, however, it also gives the picture the necessary depth of focus. The Pelikan printer ink cartridges also contain these colors, which emphasizes the fact that every home printer mixes all its colors out of the primary colors. As a consequence, the CMYK color model can be transferred to the opaque paintbox K12, which, according to the DIN5023 regulation, also contains these primary colors. This way, anybody is able to understand the theory of opaque paints and to experiment with the bright colors in a manifold way.

Notice: Print out the download template of the color wheel and paint the three corresponding primary color circles with the pure colors.

Primary Colors and its Mixtures

By mixing two primary colors of equal proportions, a secondary color is created, despite the various definitions that exist. And by mixing the created color with another primary color, a tertiary color is created. This word game could be continued on and on, for educational purposes, however, the given perspective is absolutely sufficient. The 12-color wheel, which consists of the three primary colors, the three secondary and the six tertiary colors resulting thereout, emerges from this concept. Mixing three primary colors together will make a tertiary color.

Mixture Ratio

In order to get as close to the ideal-typical colors as possible, the secondary and tertiary colors must be mixed in the right proportion to each other. In a computer model, it would be sufficient to fill in the required amount of color - practically tested, it might be necessary to vary the amount of color. Mostly, it is due to the brightness of the pigments, the variable amount of water to add and also to the fact that it is almost impossible to reach the exact amount of paint with a paintbrush.

Notice: Information on the exact amount of primary colors needed for the single secondary colors can be found on our download template. The circles with the definition 'original' are to be colored in the pure primary color (as shown in our example). Fill the given parts required to mix the secondary colors into the mixing bowls of the paintbox lid, e. g. 2 parts cyan for blue and 1 part magenta. Then color the respective circle with the color created.

Samples of the amount of cyan and magenta used for the color mixture.

Constructing the Color Wheel

All given colors are arranged in a circle for a better observation, which also means the colors oppose each other equivalently in terms of brightness. We speak of complementary colors here that are so strong that they would be able to delete one another! This phenomenon becomes clear when two opposing colors are mixed together. The effect also takes place when all three primary colors come together. Despite the fact that, in theory, they would turn into black, due to the pigmentation, in practice, only a shade of gray can be realized. However, it clearly visualizes the deleting effect of the colors.

At this point, we note that the colors in the color wheel become darker towards the inside and lighter towards the outside. By mixing all three primary colors together, a shade of gray is formed, of which the initial colors cannot be recognized in the aftermath.

Notice: On the download template, all three primary colors should also come together in the center of the color wheel. For this purpose, mix the colors together in the lid of the paintbox and then paint the center of the big circle on the template in the created color.

We wish you lots of success in mixing your self-made color wheel.