Exploring Color - applications, tools and resources

Colorist for Artists Help - Mixing Color Wheel

Purpose of the Mixing Color Wheel

The purpose of a mixing color wheel is to determine the mixing complement of a particular hue. The selected color and the mixing complement can then be mixed in order to:

  • lower the chroma of the selected color
  • create a neutral gray
The Mixing Color Wheel cannot be used to determine the outcome of mixing two random colors. In fact, because of the complexities of paint mixing, it is not possible to predict the exact outcome of mixing two colors. However, it is possible, from empirical evidence, to adequately determine the mixing complement of a given hue.

It may be desireable to either find a mixing complement of similar lightness to the selected color, or pre-adjust the lightness of the complement to match that of the selected color (by adding black or white).

The Mixing Color Wheel should never be used to determine visual color harmony (visual complements, triads).


Mixing Wheel Options

Just as with the Visual Color Wheel, one can display paint colors from a single brand or from a collection of paint brands.

Results can be optionally sorted by chroma (high to low values) or by lightness (high to low values).

Additionally, as with the Visual Color Wheel, results can be filtered by transparency (T = transparent; SO/ST = semi-opaque, semi-transparent; O = opaque; ?? = unspecified by manufacturer)


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