The following color wheel depicts the distribution of the various hues like spokes of the wheel. Later we will enhance the wheel to also depict the intensity or chroma of the various hues. However this version of the color wheel is useful to understand the fundamental temperature relations of the hues on the color wheel. Understanding the relationships of these colors, or hues, and their temperatures will help us in choosing and mixing the colors for our paintings.
The same is true for each of the segments, as they tend to blend with their neighbors at each of the boundaries. In this way way, the wheel resprsents a continuous variation in hue as you go around the wheel.
On the wheel depicted below, each of the boundary colors are indicated, including green/yellow (G/Y) and orange/yellow (O/Y) for the yellow segment, yellow/ orange (Y/O) and red/orange (R/O) for the orange segment, orange/red (O/R) and violet/red (V/R) for the red segment, red/violet (R/V) and blue/violet (B/V) for the violet segment, violet/blue (V/B) and green/blue (G/B) for the blue segment, and blue/green (B/G) and yellow/green (Y/G) for the green segment.
Let's now see how the relative warm and cool properties vary for the various hues on the wheel. The warmest color, yellow, is placed at the top of the wheel. The coolest color violet is placed at the bottom of the wheel.
As we progress up both sides of the wheel the colors get progressively warmer. For example, on the left hand side, as we transition from the violet segment to the blue segment, the violet/blue is warmer than the blue/violet because it contains less violet and more of the warmer blue.
Similarly, the green/blue is warmer than the violet/blue because it contains les violet and more of the warmer green component.
Moving on to the green segment, the blue/green is warmer than the green/blue because it has less of the blue and more of the warmer green. Again the yellow/green is warmer than the blue/green because it has more of the warmer yellow component and less of the cooler blue.
Similarly at the top warmest yellow segment, the green/yellow is warmer than the yellow/green because it has less of the cooler green and more of the warmer yellow.
An important point to note is that the temperature of a hue is a relative term in relation to the surrounding hues.
A similar situation can be described for the right hand side of the wheel where each of the successive hues gets warmer as we progress from the red/violet to the orange yellow.
Now that we have seen how the hues get warmer as we progress from the bottom to the top of the wheel, let's consider the temperature relationship of the left and right sides of the wheel.
The left side of the wheel is cooler than the right side, as it consists of the cooler greens and blues as compared to the warmer oranges and reds.
Similarly, in the yellows at the top, the green/yellow (G/Y) on the left is cooler than the orange/yellow (O/Y) on the right since orange component on the right is warmer than the green component on the left.
Also at the bottom of the wheel, the blue/violet (B/V) on the left is cooler than the red/violet (R/V) on the right since the blue component is cooler that the red component on the right.
The following wheel shows how the colors of my Augmented Golden OPEN Modern Color Pallet are distributed around the wheel.
The chroma or intensity of the individual hues are highest at the outer boundary of the wheel and become progressively lower chroma or duller as you progress to the center of the wheel. For example, the radial line, or spoke of the wheel, connecting any hue point on the boundary to the center will contain duller and duller versions of the hue as you approach the center.
As described in the Mixing Colors in the Modern Color Gamut section of the My Painting Methodology Section tab on this website, when you mix the colors represented by any two color points on the Hue Chroma Color Wheel, the resulting color will lie on line connecting the two original colors. Where along the the line the resulting color lies, depends on the ratio of the two colors in the mix.
The following Hue Chroma Color Wheel depicts the positions of the seven colors on my Modern Color Pallet.
The example that we will consider is the mixing of various basic skin tones.
To create my basic skin tones I first mix an orange by combining my orange/yellow (O/Y) and my orange/red (O/R). This is depicted by the straight line connecting the (O/Y) and (O/R) points on the following color wheel.
To show how we can control temperature we will mix the orange with three different colors: blue/green (B/G), green/blue (G/B), and violet/blue (V/B). These three mixtures will fall along the respective three lines connecting these colors to the mixed orange on the above color wheel.
Note the relative positions of these three lines on the above color wheel. The (B/G) line is the highest and warmest of the three lines. The (G/B) line is lower and cooler and the (V/B) line will produce the coolest mixtures.
These three mixtures are displayed on the pallet depicted below: blue/ green on the left, green/blue in the middle, and violet/blue on the right.
The three mixtures in the middle were done to dull the orange to a similar value. Each of these piles were then tinted with white to creat similar value pools of color for a skin tone. If you look carefully the left hand pool based on the blue/ green mixture is the warmest and the violet/blue mixture on the left is the coolest.
The differences between these mixtures are very subtle. This is to be expected when you look at three lines representing these mixtures on the above color chart. As you progress from the orange point and move to the left, the lines are at first rather close together. However as you move further to the left, which corresponds to adding more of the cooler colors. The lines for the respective mixtures move further apart and the temperature differences will become more apparent.
To illustrate this, more of the cooler colors are added to the middle color pools on the pallet as depicted in the photo below. The mixtures have become so dull that is is not possible to asses the color properties such as temperature. In order to see the temperature differences, some white was added to the three pools as depicted on the photo of the pallet below.
This demo illustrates how a knowledge of how the the hues relate in the color space of the color wheel enables you to predict and control the hue and temperature of the color mixtures.