Tertiary Colors

What are Tertiary Colors?

These are the colors on the color wheel that

fall between the Primary Color and the Secondary
Color.

In this picture, you can see that the
blue-green and the yellow-green
would be the Tertiary colors.

In naming the Tertiary colors, the primary color is always the first part of the name.


I decided to look up the definition of tertiary colors and came across one in the “Merriam-Webster” online dictionary that adds an expands the definition. I discovered that tertiary colors can be a combination of:

  • equal parts of one primary and an adjacent secondary color on the color wheel, or
  • the combination of any two secondary colors.

This is based on a definition circa 1864, so it is one the old Masters used several centuries ago when mixing their colors.

This certainly expand the range of colors that can be mixed as tertiary colors.

Variety of Browns

One interesting thing about tertiary colors is that when you mix a Tertiary Color with the Primary Color that is
not a part of it all ready, you will get a variety of brown.

If you mix blue-green, with red, you get a
brown.

The browns will look different depending on the ratio of each combination.

If you use more blue-green than red, the brown is very dark, almost black, as you see in the top of this picture.

More red makes a cocoa brown.

If you mix red-orange,
with blue, you get another brown. I this case, I used a deep cobalt blue with the red-orange.

Try it and see what colors you get with
what you have on your pallet.

I always say
this, because we all have such a variety of colors and brands, that what I
might achieve with my pallet may not be what you get with yours.

This entry was posted in Other.

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