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       "You can also warm up a cool colors
        temperature, and cool down
        a warm colors temperature."

 

 
Home  Basics and Skills  Understanding Color Temperature

    a color wheel divided displaying a warm and cool side



Understanding Color Temperature

  • Colors on the warm side of the color wheel
  • Colors on the cool side of the color wheel
  • Creating warmer and cooler shades of orange
  • Creating warmer and cooler shades of green
  • Creating warmer and cooler shades of violet



Watercolors are positioned on the color wheel according to their color temperature. Red, and colors that can be made from red, are positioned on the warm side of the color wheel. Whereas blue, and the colors that can made from blue, are positioned on the cool side of the color wheel. But colors on the warm side of the wheel can be known as cool, and colors on the cool side of the wheel can be known as warm, depending on the relationship to their neighboring color.

Color Wheel Temperature
 
Warm Side
 
Cool Side
 

When you envision the color red, you think of things
that are warm;

example

sun      fire
Illustration showing the warm side and cool side

When you envision the color blue, you think of things
that are cool;

example

snow      ice


Adding red to blue
will create warm shades
of violet.



Adding blue to red
will create cool shades
of violet.

Creating Warmer and Cooler Oranges
 

Adding more yellow to orange,
will make cooler shades of orange.
 

Mixing together equal amounts of yellow and red, will make an orange true to those two primary colors.
 



Adding more red to orange,  
will make warmer shades of orange.  
illustration
 
Creating Warmer and Cooler Greens
 

Mixing together equal amounts of yellow and blue, will make a green true to those two primary colors.
 

Adding more yellow to green,
will make warmer shades of green.
 
illustration


Adding more blue to green,
will make cooler shades of green.
 
Creating Warmer and Cooler Violets
 
Adding more red to violet,
will make warmer shades of violet.


illustration

Adding more blue to violet,
will make cooler shades of violet.

 
 
Mixing together equal amounts of red and blue, will make a violet true to those two primary colors.
 
 

 
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