Sunday, 30 March 2014

More Colour wheels and templates - mixing opposites to create neutrals

Colour wheels take a bit of drawing up, especially as they get more complicated. I use a compass with an ink ruling pen adapter to draw them, and I like to leave a bit of space between each section so the paint doesn't run together.

Here are a couple you may like to choose from to try doing yourself. Each has 18 spaces around the outside. There is no need to have 18 tubes of paint to create these outside colours - it can be done with 8 or less placed carefully at the appropriate place around the circle and then mixed together in different ratios to create the secondary colours in between.

There is a link to the jpeg on my website here so you can download and print it onto watercolour paper and paint is with your own paints.

This one was painted using a small palette of two yellows (Quinacridone Gold and Hansa Yellow Medium), Phthalo Green, Two blues (Phthalo Blue GS and Ultramarine) and three reds (Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrol Crimson and Pyrrol Scarlet. The other reds, oranges, purples, green and turquoise around the outside were all painted with these pigments, then the opposite colours mixed together to create the tertiaries through the middle.

18 colour wheel with 8 mixed opposites creating dozens of neutrals.

Template for 18 colour wheel with 8 mixed opposites
Here is the template for the wheel above - it has 18 colours around the outside and space to mix 8 tertiaries  through the middle section.

Click here to see more about it in my website, or here to link to a jpeg that you can print.

Template for 18 colour wheel with 6 mixed opposites

This version is a little simpler as it has less spaces for the opposite mixtures through the middle.

To print this one click here.


  1. Thank you Jane! You are so incredibly generous with your information, where others would charge a fee. Love all your postings.

    1. Thank you Paula. I'd love to know how many people will actually download the templates and paint them....! If my posts encourage others to get to know and enjoy their materials, I'm happy.

  2. It's good of you to post this - but the filled in wheel only has 16 colours round the outside - I don't suppose that it matters if there are 2 extra - just fill in 2 more intermediates.

  3. Good point. I generally use 18 colours around the outside. It makes it easier to work. Yellow, green yellow, yellow green, green, blue green, turquoise, green blue, purple blue, blue purple, purple, magenta purple, magenta, crimson, red, orange red, orange, yellow orange, orange yellow. Or fiddle it :-) The important thing is to juggle the yellow and purple opposite, the red-orange opposite Turquoise, the Crimson opposite Phthalo Green, Ultramarine opposite orange.

  4. This is lovely!

    If you haven't read "Blue & Yellow Don't Make Green" (second edition), you ought to. I see some of the principles at work here already.