Color Wheel Pro - See Color Theory in Action

A software program to create color schemes and preview them on real-world examples.

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Visual vs. Mixing Color Wheel

Mixing (red-yellow-blue) color wheel

Mixing Color Wheel (RYB)

Traditionally, artists used a color wheel composed of the primary colors red, yellow, and blue. Currently, the mixing color wheel is commonly accepted as a visual representation of color theory. This color wheel was invented by Johannes Itten, a Swiss color and art theorist. According to Itten, the primary use of his color wheel is for mixing pigments. However, many artists use this color wheel to create visually harmonious color combinations.


Visual (red-green-blue) color wheel

Visual Color Wheel (RGB)

As opposed to the mixing version of the color wheel, the visual color wheel is based on the primary colors red, green, and blue. The RGB primaries are used for computer monitors, cameras, scanners, etc. The secondary (subtractive) triad of the RGB wheel is CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow), which is a standard in printing. Also, the human eye contains RGB receptors. Because of this fact, many artists believe that the visual RGB color wheel should be used instead of the traditional RYB wheel to create visual complements.


Which wheel to choose?

The purpose of Color Wheel Pro is to create visually harmonious color schemes, but not to teach you to mix pigments. So we recommend that you use the visual RGB wheel because it reflects human color perception correctly. Of course, you can experiment with both types of the color wheel.


Related topics:

Color Theory Basics
Classic Color Schemes
Color Meaning








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