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The Color Wheel is a simple yet powerful tool for understanding how color works and how colors relate to each other. We are going to create our own Color Wheel in Photoshop. We are going to use Blending Modes and we are also going to use a gradient to give us our tint and shades of the colors. Here is where we begin. I am going to change the Transparency option, so that we don't see a checkerboard, but rather we see a solid white background. That's going to be less distracting. So we have our three additive primaries red, green and blue.
So this is not a Color Wheel based upon subtractive primaries of red, blue and yellow, the colors that we would use to mix paint, but rather we are mixing light. I have a Vector Smart Object layer that has the angles of the color around the circle. I am going to begin by coming to Layer 1 and I am going to duplicate it, Command+J or Ctrl+J. And then I am going to rotate that duplicate, Command+T or Ctrl+T, takes me to my Free Transform and I want to rotate this through 60?.
And I'll click on the tick to accept that transformation. Remember we are working with the colors of light. So if I change the Blending Mode of this top layer to Lighten, then we see now our subtractive primaries or our secondary colors are Cyan and Magenta and a Yellow. I am now going to merge these two lawyers into one, Command+E or Ctrl+E. And I am going to do what I did before, I am going to copy the layer, Command+J or Ctrl+J and this time because we have six colors already and we want to get 12, what we want to do is we want to blend our primaries with our secondaries to get our tertiary colors.
I am going to rotate the copy layer through 30?. Then to blend the top layer with the layer beneath, I am going to change the Opacity to 50% just by pressing 5. So we now have our primaries, our secondaries and our tertiary colors. With Red at angles 0 or 360, opposite we have Cyan at 180. Then at 120? increments, we have Green, at angle of 240 we have Blue.
What I now want to do is merge these two layers together, Command+E or Ctrl+E and my next step is to apply a Gradient Overlay to this and the Gradient Overlay is going to create concentric rings which will divide our colors into tint and shade, tints being the lighter versions with a greater white value and shade being the darker versions of the hue with a greater black value. Gradient Overlay, now we need to do a few tricks here.
I am going to change the Gradient Style to Radio. I am going to reverse the Gradient, so it goes from light to dark and then I need a specific kind of Gradient. So I am going to click on the Gradient Swatch. And from my drop-down menu, I am going to choose Special Effects and append those to my gradients. The one that I'm after is Gray Value Stripes.
Choose that and then change the Blend Mode of the Gradient to Hard Light. So now when I go to my Info panel, and I am just going to press to choose my eyedropper tool, we see that for the most part, if I change my second color readouts to HSB Color, Hue, Saturation and Brightness, we see that the Color Angle remains consistent, no matter what piece of the slice I am on. But what is changing, as I move towards the outside and towards the center of the circle is the Saturation and the Brightness of that color.
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